"I looked through all the rooms and my sister's room was on fire and my room was on fire," said Cpl. Thomas Strunk, Jr.
The house that was burning around them was the house they had just moved into .
It was also the house where Strunk was to have his homecoming party after just returning from Afghanistan.
"The biggest thing, though, was to spend time with the family for the holidays coming up," said Strunk, Jr.
His father, Tom, Sr. was grappling with what to do next .
"You gotta' keep a positive attitude. As bad as what it was it coulda' been worse. And thank God it wasn't," said Tom Strunk, Sr.
Their friends at Ocean City Realty found an off-season rental around the corner.
"This is a small town. And even though we're a city, all our lives are intermingled! Everybody knows everybody in this town,” said Mike Contino.
So Mike and his partner Kevin at Ocean City Realty thought they should do more.
"I had mentioned to Mike that we should probably initiate a fund because I felt aside from clothing and food they're gonna' need some long-term support," said Kevin Redmond.
"It's really great! Because it's like the true American spirit comes out during those times! When there's a crisis or time of emergency, everybody gets together. It reminded me a lot of 911,” said Strunk, Jr.
Right now, Tom's proud family would give anything to feel that way again. There's no predicting how long Cpl. Tom Strunk, his parents, brother and sisters will be without a home. And that's why the community is asking everyone to contribute to the fund.
If you would like to contribute to the fund visit any Ocean City Home Bank branch or mail you donation to:
The Strunk Family Fire Fund
c/o Ocean City Home Bank
1001 Asbury Avenue
Ocean City, NJ 08226