Jessica Lyons holds Angel inside the home donated to the Lyons until they can get back on their feet after a housefire earlier this month. The family lost a cat and dog in the fire, however Angel was in need of a family, thus bringing the two together.

TURBOTVILLE — It’s remarkable to witness Jessica Lyons keep busy this week prepping a new home and maintain a big smile on her face. Given everything she and her family has been through, it would be easy to buckle, especially during the holidays.

It’s not part of the playbook for Lyons though and as overwhelmed as the family is with recent traumatic events, it’s as if an “Angel”, or angels, are watching over them.

Having lost nearly everything in a fire Dec. 2 at their Lewis Township home, the Lyons have since experienced the gift of family, friends and community and plan to move into a home this week.

“We lost our home to a fire and a week, week and a half later, we’ll be moving into a new home,” said Jessica Lyons.

Already patrolling the hallways of the new home is Angel, a housecat, who himself appears to realize he’s been given a gift of family.

Thanks to the generosity of Joe Miller, the Lyons will have a home, and a new cat, along Comley Road in Lewis Township, just outside Turbotville, until they decide to find a home of their own.

Miller heard about the fire at the Lyons home and through a series of acquaintances offered the home of his mother, who had recently passed away, until the family could get on its feet again.

Jessica was busy Monday morning cleaning and getting the home ready for move-in day, which could come as early as Wednesday.

“Everyone has been so great,” said Jessica, at times overcome with emotion. “People from church have been coming by, dropping off clothing, gift cards. It’s wonderful. It’s been a blessing to our hearts.”

JJ, who is a firefighter with the Williamsport Bureau of Fire, and Jessica, were both hunting out of the area when the fire struck their former home, along Trent Road, Lewis Township. The family dog, KC, and cat, Otis, were lost in the fire. Another cat, Milo, survived.

Milo will soon join Angel, who manned the farmhouse the Lyons are moving into.

“Angel is just as big as Otis was,” said Jessica. “He acts just like him too. I think it’s just a God thing.”

The fire has been tough on the couple’s daughter, Jilline, 5, who is a student at Turbotville Elementary School. The location of the new house is not too far from the school, something that pleases the family.

“It’s all really close,” said Jessica. “It’s nice.”

JJ is also a member of the Warrior Run School Board.

In addition to family and friends chipping in, the Lyons have benefited from the efforts of fellow firefighters from Williamsport. Firefighters have helped with cleaning the house, doing some renovations and just getting it ready for the family to move in.

Additionally, firefighters collected clothing and gift cards online. Revival Tabernacle, Susquehanna Trail, Watsontown, is also collecting items for the family.

Bob’s Disposal donated a dumpster for the family to use as long as it takes to get moved in.

“You can’t explain it,” Jessica said of the community support. “You have your ups and downs in life. Things can be replaced, but people can’t.”

Chris Brady is managing editor at The Standard-Journal. He can be reached at

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