Neighbors, local business pay it forward to family that lost everything in house fire

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Gary Hart's family lost everything in a recent house fire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Gary Hart's family lost everything in a recent house fire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Gary Hart looked through some of the clothes, books, blankets and kitchen items his family was just given by total strangers.

He's overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity.

"We have to just start from scratch," said Hart. "We have to rebuild from nothing, and yet in a big way, that's been a blessing because we've had such an outpouring of support that we're not in want of things right now. We're not homeless."

Earlier this month, a fire ripped through the north Phoenix home Hart had been renting with his fiancee and their five children.

The family lost everything.

But the devastating turn of events, quickly turned into a love-fest, with a community coming together to help a family in need.

Adam Johnson is the manager of Mega Furniture at I-17 and Happy Valley Road.

He heard what happened on social media and quickly jumped into action, providing the family with an assortment of beds, mattresses, tables and other furniture.

Johnson then launched a fundraising campaign, and asked people to come into his store and donate what they could.

"Giving back can really change somebody's life," said Johnson. "It's unfortunate they lost the house in the fire, and that's out of their control, but now they're back on their feet, just by a little bit of love."

The furniture made it possible for the Hart family to move into an apartment this past weekend.

They're hoping that once they get settled, they can return the favor and pay it forward to someone else in need.

"It's definitely going to change the way we work and help in our community," said Hart. "I've seen that in a way I'll never forget."

Mega Furniture will continue accepting donations for the family through Friday.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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