Harper Woods family loses everything in fire

Community reaches out to help Montia Tarver, her 7 children

HARPER WOODS, Mich. – The Harper Woods community is reaching out to the public after a family lost everything recently in a fire.

Montia Tarver and her seven children -- Monique, Faith, Ariel, Ashante, Alexis, Neveha and Fletcher -- have each other but nothing else.

"I'm thankful. I'm truly blessed," Tarver said.

Tarver's 4-year-old child was playing with a lighter and lit a bag of clothing on fire. The mother was desperate to get her kids out. Smoke and fire were between her and her 1-year-old child, Faith.

"I, like, had to jump over the fire coming down the stairs, falling with her," Tarver said.

Three of her youngest children were home at the time and she got all three out. Her other four children came home from school to watch their home burn.

"That was everything. All of their clothes, their toys, everything, the computer for their school work," said Tarver.

Harper Woods police put out a community-wide email to help the family.

"Due to the age range of the children, clothing, infant supplies and especially monetary donations would be the most beneficial to the family at this time," the email read. "Please consider assisting this family recover from such a devastating loss."

New Life Ministries is putting out the call for help. D.L. Harville is the pastor of New Life Ministries and is also the Harper Woods police chaplain. He's hoping people wrap their arms around the family.

"They need everything. They lost everything. There's nothing saved from that house," Harville said.

Meanwhile, Thursday is 5-year-old Monique's birthday. The family said they will celebrate and are touched that people want to help.

"It gives me strength. It allows me to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel," said Tarver.

Anyone who would like to donate or help the Tarver family can reach Harville at:

New Life Ministries
19678 Lochmoor
Harper Woods, MI, 48225

Donations can be dropped off at the church from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 313-526-9000.

Additionally, this GoFundMe has been set for the family.

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