Still-Distraught Community, Red Cross Rally To Hans Barth's Cause

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — A family that had counted its blessings is now totaling up its losses.

Hans Barth considered his family among the lucky after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. His son, a first grader, was saved that fatal Friday by heroic teacher Kaitlin Roig, who shepherded him to the safety of a locked bathroom.

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However, around 100 days later a devastating fire destroyed the Barth family home. It broke out Wednesday, apparently starting in a clothes dryer and spreading while the Barths were at a parent-teacher conference, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Friday.

“Although this is a tragedy the support has been so tremendous,” Barth said. “We were a half a mile like around the corner, and we didn’t even know it was our house. We couldn’t believe it.”

The Barths said their children are sad over losing so much, but are especially distraught over the death of their beloved little Chihuahua.

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“Really, the dog is the biggest loss for the children, but they are grateful for the support of the Sandy Hook community,” Barth said.

With the massacre, the community is painfully familiar with rallying around neighbors who’ve suffered a traumatic loss.

“Our community is stronger and we’re stronger through what happened in December of last year. That experience brings us through this much easier, made us stronger,” Barth said.

Relief efforts for the Barth family are being coordinated by St. Rose of Lima Church, where so many funerals were held after the school shooting. The family is clearly exhausted by its ordeal this week, but is also energized by the love it’s receiving.

The Red Cross is helping the Barth family as well, providing shelter and other necessities.

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