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Toledo family loses home to fire just before Christmas

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    A fire broke out about 1 a.m. Thursday, December 21, 2017, at 705 Parker Avenue in East Toledo. Melissa Lesage, 32, and her fiance Jared Perkins, 31, shared the home with their eight children and four dogs.

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    Melissa Lesage, 32, and her fiance Jared Perkins, 31, pray with Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas Thursday, December 21, 2017, at the Helping Hands of St. Louis annual Christmas Dinner in East Toledo.

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    Melissa Lesage, 32, becomes overwhelmed by emotion as she searches for toys to replace the ones lost to a house fire Thursday, December 21, 2017, at the Helping Hands of St. Louis in East Toledo.

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    Jared Perkins, 31, left, and his fiance Melissa Lesage, 32.

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    Melissa Lesage, 32, and her fiance Jared Perkins, 31, pray with Toledo Bishop Daniel E. Thomas. A fire broke out at the home Ms. Lesage and Mr. Perkins shared with their eight children and four dogs at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday. The couple and the five children who were home with them were able to escape the blaze, but two of their dogs died.

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    \Melissa Lesage, 32, finds a doll her daughter had requested for Christmas while search for toys to replace the ones lost to a house fire Thursday.

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    A fire broke out about 1:30 a.m. Thursday at 705 Parker Avenue in East Toledo.

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    A fire broke out about 1:30 a.m. Thursday at 705 Parker Avenue in East Toledo. Melissa Lesage, 32, and her fiance Jared Perkins, 31, shared the home with their eight children and four dogs. With no renter's insurance, the couple lost everything in the fire, including their Christmas presents.

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    A fire broke out about 1:30 a.m. Thursday at 705 Parker Avenue in East Toledo.

    The Blade/Katie Rausch
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    Melissa Lesage, 32, and her fiance Jared Perkins, 31, shared the home with their eight children and four dogs.

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Two dogs are dead and a family lost their home after a fire broke out at an East Toledo house early Thursday.

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A fire broke out about 1 a.m. Thursday, December 21, 2017, at 705 Parker Avenue in East Toledo. Melissa Lesage, 32, and her fiance Jared Perkins, 31, shared the home with their eight children and four dogs.

THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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Crews responded shortly after 1 a.m. to a home in the 700 block of Parker Avenue, according to Toledo Fire Department spokesman Pvt. Sterling Rahe. 

Heavy flames were reported from the front door and first-floor windows before crews arrived, Private Rahe said. 

Neighbors initially told firefighters five children might be trapped inside, but crews on scene located them at a residence across the street, the spokesman said. The family includes couple Jared Perkins and Melissa Lesage. 

There were no injuries; however, the family said two of their dogs died. 

Ms. Lesage, 32, has five children who live with her, and her fiance has three children who stay with them on the weekends, she said. 

The house, which Lucas County land records list as owned by Virginia and James Todd and valued at $28,500, was believed to be a total loss, and heat damage was reported to neighboring houses. The family had no renter’s insurance.

The couple was assisted afterward by Helping Hands of St. Louis in East Toledo, where Ms. Lesage has volunteered for three years, and the Toledo chapter of the American Red Cross.

The fire’s cause remained under investigation later Thursday.

Contact Allison Reamer at areamer@theblade.com, 419-724-6506, or on Twitter @AllisonRBlade.

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