UPDATE: 12/24/13 8:30 a.m.
A time for and peace and joy turned into shock and despair, and the discovery of an unknown resident.
An early morning apartment fire on 31st Street leaves a house unlivable for a family of five right before Christmas.
"Help my baby,” says Krystal Parker; referring to her three-year-old son Andrew when I asked her what she needs.
But the mother is too overcome by loss and emotion to continue the interview.
"I mean that's what's killing me right now is Christmas and all that,” says Nick Albee, Andrew’s dad.
They were jolted out of bed.
"I opened the basement door and just engulfed us in smoke,” Albee says. “You could see the flames."
"But overall the fire department and the police was there rather quickly,” says neighbor Darrell Miller.
They need to stick together.
"As a family, 'cause families are everything to all of us and all we have is each other and our neighbors,” says Mary Mcabee, Andrew’s grandmother.
Miller was given the all-clear by the fire department.
"I was able to stay at my apartment; I had some smoke but they cleared it out with the industrial fans, exhaust fans. I told, you know, the family they could stay at my place -- you know for shelter and comfort,” he says.
Different organizations are doing what they can for the family.
"Red Cross and Salvation Army,” Albee says. “I mean; everybody's just helping us tremendously. I mean, I’m at a loss for words with the whole situation."
Mcabee has just one wish.
"Give Andrew a good Christmas,” she says. “Us adults, we're not really worried about ourselves, just giving Andrew a good Christmas."
Albee is trying to stay positive.
"Right now we're staying at Serenity House, over by Beechwood Church,” the dad says. “They're putting us up for a little bit 'til we can get back on our feet."
The fire department blames the fire on a series of extension cords linked to a space heater.
Monday night, the owner of the home told WTAP he had no idea there was a person even living in the basement.
An apartment is unlivable after a Monday morning fire.
The Parkersburg Fire Department says the call came in just after 3:30 a.m. to 1059 31 St.
Authorities say the residents were home at the time but no one was hurt in the fire.
A family of five is now without a home.
Firefighters could see heavy smoke in the basement of the duplex.
Officials say it took approximately 15 minutes to battle the fire.
The Parkersburg Fire Department says there is roughly $10,000 worth of damage to the basement, but added smoke damage will likely double that.
They say overloaded extension cords going to a space heater was likely the cause.
The family will be helped by the Red Cross.