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Friends rally to help neighbors whose home was damaged in 4th of July fireworks fire


Last updated 8/3/2020 at 9:25pm

The Fourth of July wasn’t cause for celebration for one family in Knoxville.

The Pittsburgh Police Fireworks Task Force received more than 250 complaints concerning fireworks, including two for structure fires. One of those fires occurred on Orchard Place in Knoxville.

The Blankenships were celebrating the holiday when fireworks from Jucunda Street caused a fire in their home. Roy and Keona Blankenship and their children weren’t hurt in the fire, but they lost most of their belongings.

Roy and Keona are active in their community, frequently volunteering in the Knoxville, Beltzhoover and Mt. Oliver neighborhoods. Roy, outreach and assistance manager for the Hilltop Alliance, typically spends his days helping Hilltop residents getting help to fix their homes.

Those friends and neighbors are now trying to help Roy and his family. Friends have set up a gofundme page with a goal of $25,000 to help the Blankenships. As of Monday morning, the page had almost $16,000 from 377 donors. To contribute to the Blankenship Fire Recovery Fund, visit:


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