Residents of an eastern Iowa town are rallying to help a family that lost all of their possessions in a fire earlier this month. Authorities said three young girls, their mom and her boyfriend all suffered injuries in a fire on October 20 in Anamosa.

Ashley Plower was the first person to discover the fire and called 911. She organized a donation drive for the family via Facebook. “We just got a phenomenal response from the community and even people that aren’t in the community. A ton of people joined the group and are just willing to donate so much stuff,” Plower says.

Jessica Fahey is friends of the family involved in the fire. She said they’re still in shock over what happened, but they’re recovering. “The family is doing well. The children are out of the hospital…they just need things to rebuild their lives,” Fahey says. Investigators have yet to determine a cause for the fire, but they say it started in the family’s apartment – which was located above the Cat Adoption Center.

Two of the children were rescued from a back bedroom and suffered burns and smoke inhalation. The family’s dog died in the fire. Fahey says she’s overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the family.  “I just think it’s really great, I just think people need to always think about what they can do to help. It’s always good to pay it forward,” Fahey said.

(Reporting by Jill Kasperie, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids)