Tonight: Fire Victim's First Interview

By Matt Markham

Tonight: Fire Victim's First Interview

March 25, 2011 Updated Mar 25, 2011 at 4:32 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) One week after a fire that destroyed a home and took a young life, the family's mother speaks to the help her neighborhood gave in getting people out of the house.

Maureen Aissa revisited the place where her house stood before it burned with Action News Friday.

You'll recall the fire on 20 Milford Street on Binghamton's East Side Thursday morning, March 17.

Though Aissa says she is still struggling with the loss of her seventeen year-old son Jeffrey, she focuses on the help she received from many of her neighbors.

The Southee family across the street, along with some others, even helped her escape the flames.

"You know, the people are wonderful," Aissa said. "Anything that I need, they're right here...generally speaking and now, more than ever. The night of the fire when I was escorted over to Southee's, they took their jacket off and handed it to me. They took their shoes off and handed them to me. They stood by me."

Tonight on Action News at 6:00, you'll hear more from Mrs. Aissa on what happened the night of the fire.

Many of those neighbors are now banding together to help the Aissa's even further.

The Southee Family across the street has begun taking collections.

It says people have been dropping off clothes and other items for the Aissa's -- people who have never even met the family.

Those close to the Aissa's say the response has been overwhelming.

"Friends and strangers have contacted to see what they could do to assist Maureen and her family," said family friend Rich David. "It really is great to see the community come together -- especially the people we don't know...the family doesn't know, never met before, calling, asking questions, finding out what they can do to help."

That benefit will be at Flashbacks in downtown Binghamton on Sunday, March 27 from 12 Noon to 5:00pm. It's $10 per person.

The money goes to helping the family get back on their feet after the fire.