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Local family who lost home in fire feeling blessed but still in need

FLORENCE, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- It's been one week since the Arnold family lost everything in a fire, and reality is starting to sink in.

Everyone got out alive, including their 2-year-old special needs son, who was rescued by a family friend.  Wednesday, the Arnolds sat down with Local 12's Joe Webb to talk about what they've been given and what they still need.

Ray Arnold hasn't spent much time in his office at Christ's Chapel Church this week.  Last Monday the youth pastor's first attempt to deep-fry some fish, turned into his house engulfed in flames when he unsuccessfully tried to wrestle a burning pot of oil outside. 

"I'm lying on my back in the grease fire that caught my house on fire and the only thing that burned was my arm here.  Burns on my legs and 3rd degree burns here.  So it was a miracle.  I could've been much worse," Ray said.
Arnold has been in and out of the hospital since the fire.  He goes back to the doctor Wednesday to find out if skin grafts are needed.  Arnold sat down with his wife and pastor Wednesday morning to say thanks.  Since the fire, the church has mobilized and help has poured in.

Michelle Arnold said, "We're overwhelmed at this point at the amount of people from all over the country who've reached out and sent money our way or gift cards or just prayers.  That's been the biggest thing that's gotten us through."

"Obviously we need stuff but the letters.  I played Boone County Peewee Football and they blessed us with a check.  And letters from parents who seen you play when you were in first grade.  That was pretty overwhelming," Ray said.
The church is still coordinating donations for basic needs.  They've also organized a couple of benefits at local restaurants.  Despite what happened, the Arnolds feel they've been blessed.  All their needs have been met so far except one. 

Now they need a house.

Help might be on the way there as well.  They've been in touch with former Bengals player Doug Pelfrey's charitable organization.  Pelfrey told Joe Webb Wednesday he is working on plans to find them a home and will have more details later.  Right now, they are living with Pastor Terry Crigger.

"I'd like to see then get their life back and get some stability and strength and move forward with their life," Crigger said.
And after one crazy week, it's clear they won't have to move forward  alone.  Late Wednesday Local 12 learned Ray Arnold will need skin grafts and the surgery is Thursday.  He will be in the hospital for about a week.

If you are interested in helping the family CLICK HERE for more information.

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