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HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — A Hampstead family is without a place to live this Christmas after a fire on Christmas Eve destroyed their home.

Pender County emergency managers say “improperly disposed of smoking material” is to blame. The family safely escaped from their home at 23890 US Highway 17. They managed to save their Christmas presents as well, but the family cat died in the flames.

Firefighters say the house is a total loss because of fire, smoke and water damage. The American Red Cross is helping the family.

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