Community rallies behind Depew family who lost everything in fire


DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) — The community is rallying behind a Depew family, who lost everything in a fire last week.

Western New York native, Kelly Kwilos and her sons, 8-year-old Christopher and 6-year-old Matthew unexpectedly lost their home on Norman Drive, Thursday. 

“Someone knocked on my door saying the garage is on fire,” said Kwilos. “I grabbed the boys, grabbed the dogs, put everybody in the van pulled the van out across the street.”

Those on scene said due to high winds the fire spread from the garage to the Kwilos’ home and to a few surrounding structures.   The cause is still under investigation. 

“You can’t even imagine it. Just to watch it keep going,” said Kwilos. “It’s insane.”

The widowed mother says she’s thankful she was able to get her boys, Black Lab and Toy Poodle out safely. But the family lost everything in the fire, including the home they’ve lived in the past 8 years.

The family, four legged friends included, are now living with Kwilos’ sister.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family get back on its feet.  You can donate here.

The community is already stepping up, raising more than $35,000 dollars, amid a pandemic.

And for that Kwilos is grateful. “You can’t put words on it .. it means so much because the boys can still can continue to live their life,” she said.

Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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