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Neighbors save the day for Woodbury family

The Mullaney family of Woodbury lost their house to a fire June 5, 2018. Thanks to the quick actions of a neighbor, everyone got out safely. Submitted photo

When Holly Mullaney and her husband, Sean, were woken up in the early hours of June 5, they thought someone was breaking into their Woodbury home.

But when Sean Mullaney went to investigate, he found a neighbor who told him the Mullaney’s house was on fire. The neighbor awoke around 1:30 a.m. and recognized the smell of burning shingles.

The couple got their two youngest sons, Easton, 9, and Nolan, 6, out of the house and met their oldest son, Carter, 13, at the mailbox — the family’s planned meeting place in case of a fire. Sean Mullaney ran back in to the house to get the family’s dog, who had been undisturbed by the commotion. Everyone made it out safely. The investigation into the fire is ongoing.

Another neighbor and family friend, Cynthia Maxwell, started a GoFundMe to raise money for the family after the fire. As of Thursday morning, nearly $26,000 had been donated.

Maxwell said the Mullaneys have been “put through the wringer” in recent months. Their youngest son was diagnosed with cancer at the age of two and has had ongoing medical issues.

“Having spent the last several months in and out of the hospital, they are now faced with the added burden of having to completely rebuild their lives,” Maxwell wrote on the GoFundMe page. “They are in need of all the help they can receive. Please help them try to start over.”

Holly Mullaney said she has been overwhelmed by the amount of support people have shown through the GoFundMe already, many of whom the family doesn’t even know.

“Every time someone updates me I just start crying,” she said.

After escaping the fire that night, Holly said she thought the family might be left only with what they had on their backs; however, she said some of their belongings, including clothes, were salvaged.

Looking toward the future, the Mullaneys said they are looking to rebuild in the same spot.

“We love our neighborhood,” Holly said.

Hannah Black

Hannah Black is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism interested in the intersection of politics and the everyday lives of citizens. Outside of reporting, she enjoys running, going to museums and concerts, and trying new coffee shops and breweries. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Wendell.

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