GoFundMe Shut Down for Quakertown, PA Family Devastated By Fatal Christmas Morning Fire
A GoFundMe campaign — which was set up to raise money to help a local family following a horrific Christmas morning fire has been shut down following "insensitive comments" from others.
The GoFundMe page was initially set up to raise money following the blaze, which took the lives of 40-year-old Eric King and two of his sons Liam (11 years old) and Patrick (8 years old). The family's dogs also died in the fire. Eric's wife, Kristin, and the couple's oldest child, Brady were able to escape the blaze.
The GoFundMe — which was initially started by family friend Kristin Randazzo — now displays a message saying in part that they've decided to stop accepting donations on GoFundMe after "insensitive and rude emails and comments" were received.
"I have received some tasteless emails and threats and I am no longer comfortable having this open," the organizer wrote. "This was done for a family that has been personally a part of our life, supporting our business for years, and it was in my heart, the right thing to do."
The GoFundMe campaign raised over $608,000 before being shut down. It initially had a goal of just $20,000.
Officials say the fire started around 1:30 am inside the family's two-story home on Essex Court in Quakertown. The fire spread rapidly, and it's believed to have started near the family's Christmas tree, officials say.
"The area of origin was a Christmas tree, so we're not sure if it's because of electric or a dried-up old Christmas tree," Fire Marshal Doug Wilhelm told CNN this weekend.
In lieu of a GoFundMe, friends of the family have now set up a GiveInKid campaign, which collects gift cards for those in need. Click here to visit the page and learn more.