Riverside High School students help classmate, family devastated by house fire

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TAYLOR, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A house fire is one of the greatest fears any homeowner can face.

A fire on June 4th heavily damaged the Walsh family home on Barbara Lane in Taylor. The family is getting help from the community as some teenagers wasted no time to provide help to the family.

All that was on Jeff Higgins’ mind Thursday was a state semi-final baseball game he and his Riverside High School teammates were just hours from playing. But six days earlier, all Higgins could think about was his friend and fellow Riverside student, Carl Walsh.

“You never, never think it will happen to somebody like that. He does a lot for everybody, like the whole family does a lot for everyone,” Higgins said.

Fire erupted in the attached garage of the Walsh home and spread into the house. The homeowner and a daughter scrambled to safety. Before too long, Mr. Walsh got word from Riverside’s Class of 2021.

“I received a text message saying that they wanted to help asking what we needed, what they could do for us and the firefighters are still there fighting the fire,” Walsh said.

The students started a Venmo fund drive for the Walsh family.

“And we were able to give them $3,000 in cash by 7:30 that night,” Riverside High School Class of 2021 member Todd Monahan said.

The Walsh home was insured which will help cover expenses in the long run, but there are short-term needs the family faces.

“I never thought about it and then you think 17 and 18-year-olds you know as well as the rest of the community, they’ve been fantastic. They understand and get it as my head still spins,” Walsh said.

“One day you might be in the position where you need help, too. So, you really just have to help everyone around you if you expect them to help you back,” Riverside High School Class of 2021 member Allie Nenish said.

The Class of 2021 also is planning a raffle and other fundraisers. For more information, visit riversidesd.com.

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