Their four year old son had been playing with matches in his room when he set a fire.
By the time he told his mother, it was too late.
Linda McClellan stares in shock at her two story home, once filled with a family of eight.
Now it's a total loss, the charred walls ready to be knocked down.
"He said, 'Smoke mommy, smoke!' I looked at the top of the door and all the smoke was coming out," McClellan recalls.
McClellan's son Theo had found a box of matches.
"Got himself one lit, and I guess he set his bed on fire."
A frightening outcome she had warned her child about before.
"I said to him, I don't know how many times, if you don't quit getting into these things you're not supposed to have, you're going to burn this house down someday," said McClellan.
The fire started in the back of the house and quickly spread.
The family says once the flames ignited, they knew their century old home wouldn't make it.
"We've always said if that house ever caught fire because it is so old and all that, it was going to be gone."
Everyone made it out safely, but the aftermath of their loss is difficult to bear.
"We all love each other, we're going to stay tight, and we're going to stay together," said McClellan's sister Pamela Taylor.
Now the community is offering support by dropping off bags of items to help the family through the struggle.
"We're overwhelmed, and we're humbled by the help and the love we've been shown here," said Taylor.
"Just means the world," added McClellan. "I didn't even know a lot of these people knew I lived on the corner."
As they look back on their once happy home, these women say they hope the lesson their little one learned will last him a lifetime.
"He understands that what he did was wrong," said McClellan. "He's lost his house over it. But, am I upset with him? No."
That's because the family knows, the memories made inside that house will never be taken away.