New Jersey community raises $30K for family of beloved soccer coach after fire

KEARNY, New Jersey (WABC) -- The family of a soccer coach in New Jersey who is homeless after a fire this weekend is blown away by the show of support from their community.

Percy and Jennifer Oriondo say firefighters were beyond magnificent as they worked quickly to douse a fire that began inside their neighbors' home before it jumped to both homes on either side.

They escaped their house on Elm Street just after 9 a.m. on Sunday.

The 5-alarm fire left two firefighters with minor injuries.

"When we got out of the house, our attic was already on fire," Jennifer said.

"Whoever came by to knock on the door, for them to be able to ring the doorbell 15 times, basically it saved us from a worse situation," Percy said.



They are counting their blessings -- starting with the person who rang their bell -- and they also didn't realize the outpouring of love and support they would get from the soccer community.

Their son, 8-year-old Andrew, plays on a youth soccer team.

Soccer is huge in Kearny.

"We're known throughout the country as soccertown USA, but what's more important, especially in this situation is the tight knit community," said Mike Mara with Thistle Soccer Club.

Now the soccer club is showing the Oriondos exactly what extended soccer family means.

Mara started a GoFundMe for the family to help support them through their loss.

Jennifer is an elementary school teacher. Besides 8-year-old Andrew, the couple also has a 3-year-old daughter.

"I think the majority of the house is gone, we definitely know that the whole second floor, the kids' bedrooms, our bedroom, everything is gone up there," Jennifer said.

The response the family has received is helping them feel blessed and loved.

"Thank You, thank you for helping my family, it's unbelievable to be honest," Percy said.

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