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How to help a Buffalo family: New Year's Eve fire kills 5 children

Donations are being collected Wednesday at the Cornerstone Church Ministries.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Just before 7:30 on Saturday morning, firefighters got a call about a house fire on Dartmouth Avenue.

Not long after, so did Pastor Duane Price, from his friend who lived at that house, Clarence Liggans. 

"(Clarence) was frantic. I'm surprised he was even in a condition to call me. But he got here and he's been a mess ever since. He's still a mess," Price said. 

Clarence Liggans was at work at the time of the fire. 

Firefighters say one of his daughters woke up his 63-year-old wife Lisa Liggans from a nap, alerting her of flames. The couple's six grandchildren, from 7 months old to 10 years old, were also at home during the fire. 

Fire officials say three girls died, two other kids died at the hospital, and the 7-month-old baby girl is in stable condition at Oishei.

"The grandmother was able to rescue the infant so the infant and the grandmother were able to make it outside of the structure on their own," said William Renaldo, the Buffalo Fire commissioner.

Lisa Liggans suffered burns to her back and sides.

Now Pastor Price, a spokesperson for the Liggans' family, says Lisa is stable but on a ventilator in ECMC's burn unit. He says doctors expect her to recover. 

Now the community is trying to be there for a family who just celebrated Christmas for the first time. 

One of the churches they attend, Cornerstone Church Ministries, has set up a GoFundMe for everyone to get this family through their darkest days. 

"They lost everything. I mean everything," Price said. "It's all gone. So whatever we do and everything we do, they're definitely going to appreciate it."

"Firefighters say there were working smoke detectors in the home. Now they're still investigating what caused the blaze, but believe it started in the dining room.

If you want to donate to the Liggans family, click here.

Price is asking for clothes, food and more for the family.

Items can be dropped off from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Cornerstone Church Ministries.

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