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Family of five in Winston-Salem is without a home right before Christmas after house fire

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A family of five is now without a home right before Christmas.

A fire destroyed the Perdue's family home on Helen Avenue Saturday night around 8 p.m.

Sabrina Perdue said a Christmas ornament made from her son who passed away was just one item she could save.

She said the fire started in the attic above bathroom.

"Had the kids in the house getting ready to take a bath," Perdue said.

Luckily, that didn't happen.

Perdue said the fire might've started due to some type of electrical wiring issue in the attic.

She knew something wasn't right when the lights kept flickering and off.

Her only thought was to take action, but it was too late.

"I told my husband to go turn the main breaker off and as soon as he did, he walked outside the whole back of the house was already in flames," Perdue said.

Her husband quickly ran back inside and got everyone out.

Then both parents went back inside to move as much as possible into one room before the fire was too much to handle.

They made sure to save what could never be replaced.

"Luckily, I was able to save my son's ashes and my dad's ashes," Perdue said.

The fire could've been detected earlier if all the smoke alarms were working.

"I did have one that worked," Perdue said. "A couple didn't and that's my fault. I should've took care of it a long time ago."

Perdue and her family are now sorting through wet and smoke-filled items to see what can be saved.

It’s a terrible incident she wants to help other families avoid.

"I'll tell everybody out there to make sure you have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, whatever you need to make sure your house is safe," Perdue said.