Family gifted a house, no strings attached, after devastating fire

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) -- There are moments in life that change you forever.

One Toledo, Ohio family has experienced it twice in the last month in very different ways.

"Instantly, the couch was just on fire," Ronald Warren Williamson III said, recalling a November fire at his home.

A fun night of pizza and movies turned tragic when their home went up in flames. They lost everything and almost lost members of their family.

"We realized that my son, Junior, wasn't with us and my sister, Ashley, was still in the house with him," Williamson said.

He suffered third-degree burns after he ran back into the house, through smoke and flames, to save them both. He said as a father, it was a small price to pay to ensure his family's safety.

His heroic actions didn't go unnoticed, though he'd tell you he's no hero. The proof came in the form of votes, as the community helped the family get back on their feet.

"We're giving a house away to a family in need," said Engelo Rumora of List 'N Sell Realty.

To be considered, people had to record a two minute video about why they needed the house and it was up to the public to decide. It's part of a yearly effort put together by Rumora and his wife.

"It sure is a bit of a process when we want to give a house away. We want to make sure everything is functional and that whatever we give the new homeowners is going to be sustainable and self-sufficient for the long term," he said.

Williamson and his family were the deserving recipients.

In awe and sometimes overwhelmed by emotions, they got the keys.

"The house is yours," Rumora said during the exchange.

Saturday, mom, dad and kids got to take a good look at their new home.

"Right now, we've got to get couches and everything a home needs," Williamson said.

He adds that they never thought in a million years that so many people would rally around them. He said they're all grateful for that generosity.

"We're just very fortunate for everybody in the community for the way they've all come together," Stacey Kennedy said. "It's just amazing."