The Freeport community has come to the aid of a couple and their four children who lost everything Wednesday in an early-morning fire that destroyed their home at 17 Griffin Road.

Norway Savings Bank (located at 8 Mallett Drive, Freeport, ME 04032) is accepting donations at the bank or by mail for Eyidi Ambila and his wife, Anna Darby. Also, an account has been set up at the online account GoFundMe, at

Darby said Friday that the Red Cross has set the family up for three days at the Freeport Inn. Friday night was to be the final night, but Darby is hoping that some of her insurance coverage will allow them to stay there for a few more days.

“We’re thinking of a couple more nights just so we can get something figured out,” Darby said after dropping her children off at school. “We just don’t have any idea where to go. There are six of us; we can’t really stay in a one-bedroom apartment.”

Darby said that her brain “is just starting to work” after the family escaped unharmed following the fire that destroyed their home. A smoke alarm that Ambila had recently equipped with a new battery woke them at 4:35 a.m. Fire Chief Darrel Fournier said the fire was caused either by a malfunctioning electrical heater or combustibles too close to the heater in a basement bedroom.

“I can hug all of my babies,” Darby said. “They’re all alive and alert.”

Darby said that her children had “giant smiles” on Thursday after they left Freeport Community Services with some new belongings.

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