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Community lends helping hand to man who lost wife, pets in fire

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    HOLLISTON, Massachusetts (WCVB) — A Massachusetts community is coming together for an 87-year-old man who lost his wife, pets and house in a fire.

Allan Levine and his 78-year-old wife, Rhonda, were in their Holliston home when the fire started at midnight on Jan. 19.

Rhonda Levine raced back into the burning Winter Street home to try and save some of their dogs from the fire. She was found inside by firefighters, who brought her back outside of the house.

The Levines were both suffering from severe smoke inhalation and taken to an area hospital. Rhonda Levine died of her injuries, and firefighters were unable to save the pets.

The community has donated thousands of dollars to Allan Levine to help him make it through the difficult time.

Kevin Swanecamp, a neighbor, welcomed Levine into his home after the widower everything in the fire.

“He got out of the house with the shirt on his back and has absolutely nothing, so we are working hard and diligently to help him move on,” Swanecamp said

Allan Levine says his wife loved animals and would often rescue dogs. They do not have any family, so their pets were like their children.

He wishes to create a memorial for his wife that will pay tribute to her love of animals.

“Life is short, as in five minutes with a fire, life disappears,” Levine said. “I am going to do as much as I can for her memorial. She gave her life to the dogs.”

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