Jul 28, 2014
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Montclair Community Pre-K Teacher Loses Everything In Fire

Family members salvaged nothing but the clothes on their backs ... can you help?

Montclair Community Pre-K Teacher Loses Everything In Fire


 LaMonica Carter, a beloved teacher at the , lost all of her belongings in a fire on Mother's Day in Belleville.

Pre-K officials say that she and her four children are essentially homeless, having salvaged nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Indeed, the family had no renters insurance and lost everything they own.

Carter has been a teacher at the Montclair Community Pre-K for nine years and has touched many lives in the community, officials say.

The school is accepting donations on behalf of the family. Suggested items include: gift cards to Target, Shoprite or CVS, cash or other goods. Carter's children range in age from 8 to 14 years old and are the following sizes:

Girls size 8, women’s size 9/10, boys size 10; and boys size 18.

The school is open from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and can accept donations at the Front Desk, 49 Orange Road, 973-509-4500.

No one was home on Sunday at the time of the three-alarm blaze that grew so hot it melted the siding on the house next door.

Belleville firefighters responded to the fire on Harrison Street at 12:35 p.m. and saw smoke coming from the rear of the house, according to a report prepared by Fire Lt. Scott Wentworth. The two-story wood-frame home had two apartments on each floor and the fire burned throughout the first and second floors towards the rear of the house.

Carter and the other occupants were relocated with the help of the American Red Cross.

Belleville Fire Chief Robert Caruso said the five occupants were evacuated by firefighters and that the home was located near the Bloomfield border near Mill Street.

The fire was declared under control at 4:30 p.m. Sunday and emergency personnel cleared the scene at 6 p.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Richard A. Dickon contributed to this report.

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