Flames displace Mount Vernon family of 18

A Mount Vernon family of 18 is coping in the wake of a fast-moving fire that forced them from their home of nearly 30 years.

The flames broke out at the Grandview Avenue home in Mount Vernon after 9 p.m. Fire officials say the fire started in the basement. No one was injured, but the family was forced to leave until the home's safety can be assessed. The cause remains under investigation.

Orville and Sharon Burnett, who are brother and sister, live at the residence with 16 other relatives who range in age from 1 to 72 years old.

Officials expect the Burnetts will be allowed back into their home if and when inspectors deem the structure is livable and the utilities are turned back on. The smell of smoke was still heavy in the air Tuesday.

Many neighbors feel for the family. "It's very, very sad," says neighbor Marc Williams. "I saw the commotion last night with the fire trucks and everything. I came to check on my car and saw the water and the trucks ? It's a terrible thing no matter where it happens.

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