Antioch Family Loses Everything After Christmas Tree Goes Up in Flames | NBC Bay Area
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Antioch Family Loses Everything After Christmas Tree Goes Up in Flames

The family says they need clothing for the children after firefighters determined all their belongings were a total loss due to asbestos contamination.

An Antioch family lost a lot of belongings after their Christmas tree went up in flames. LiLi Tan reports. (Published Friday, Dec. 25, 2015)

A black ring on the floor now marks the spot where the Brown family Christmas tree stood three days ago, before it went up in flames.

Samantha O'Bryan was home with her husband Jeffrie Brown and their four children when she heard crackling coming from the living room. The family's Christmas tree somehow caught fire, nearly burning their 4-year-old son and foster puppy.

"The tree went up in less than a minute, and then the fire just kind of rolled up the ceiling," O'Bryan said.

Brown awoke from a nap to flames and intense heat. He could not enter the living room; instead, he climbed out a back window.

A black ring on the floor now marks the spot where the Brown family Christmas tree stood before it went up in flames.
Photo credit: NBC Bay Area

O'Bryan yelled for the children to run outside and grab their 10-month-old foster puppy, Kringle.

"I remember counting one, two, three, and I was like, 'Where's Logan?" O'Bryan said, referring to the couple's 4-year-old son.

Logan was asleep on the couch, a couple feet from the flaming fir tree. His mother spotted his foot peeking out from beneath the blanket and scooped him up.

"If I didn't see his foot, he would be gone," O'Bryan said, unable to hold back tears. "My son was right there. And seconds...it would be a completely different story."

Family friend Nicole Martinez is helping the family get resettled, as well as find a permanent home for foster puppy Kringle, a pit-bull mix.

Fire and insurance investigators will return Monday to determine the cause of the fire. O'Bryan says there were LED lights on the tree and doesn't know how the fire started.

The structure still stands, but firefighters say everything inside is a total loss because of asbestos contamination.

Even so, O'Bryan says this Christmas, she's more thankful than ever.

"The kids aren't injured. We're all okay. We're all together in a small hotel room but we're all together. That's all that matters."

Still in the giving spirit? The family received toy donations for Christmas, but needs clothing for the children (5T boys clothing, and size 8 and 10 girls clothing). They return to school Monday. Donations can be dropped off at Nicole Martinez's home, 272 Anchor Dr. in Bay Point. Martinez is also available for anyone interested in adopting Kringle. She can be reached at (925) 724-4138.

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