A Stratford home destroyed by fire late Monday night was the residence of Sam and Jasmine Phommachanh, the heads of a well-a known sports family which includes No. 2-ranked Clemson quarterback Taisun and University of Connecticut football signee Tyler.
The Phommachanhs, a family of seven who lived on Cheshire Street, were unharmed during the Monday night blaze, which started in one of the upstairs bedrooms shortly before 11:30 p.m. and extended toward the attic, according to Assistant Fire Chief Robert Daniel.
Twenty-two firefighters and two safety officers assisted in putting out the fire within a half an hour. Daniel declared the structure uninhabitable. The fire’s cause is under investigation.
The family is safe and staying in a nearby hotel, according to family friend Christon Gill, a former football star at Bridgeport Central and Avon Old Farms, where both Taisun and Tyler also played.
Adding to the family’s Christmas week grief, the fire occurred just a day after the death of Sam Phommachanh’s mother, Kane. She died Sunday at age 68.
Her funeral will be held Thursday — Christmas Eve — 9 a.m. at Cyril F. Mullins Funeral Home in Trumbull.
“It obviously sucks that this happened and not being able to have a Christmas,” Gill said. “Their main focus is trying to get (Sam’s) mother buried right now.”
A GoFundMe page published by neighbor John Minopoli has raised over $10,000 for the family from nearly 150 donors as of Wednesday night. “These giving and God loving people need our help,” Minopoli wrote.
Tyler Phommachanh, a 6-foot, 200-pound quarterback, celebrated signing his National Letter of Intent to play at UConn. He’s scheduled to begin classes there next month. Oldest brother Jordan played at Bunnell and later at Curry College.
Middle brother Taisun, who played at Harding and Avon Old Farms, is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound redshirt freshman and the second backup quarterback behind Heisman Trophy contender Trevor Lawrence for No. 2-ranked Clemson.
The Tigers are scheduled to play Ohio State in the National Semifinals at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on New Years Day.
Kaylah, the youngest sibling, attends Bunnell and runs for its track and field team. Sam Phommachanh played football at Harding from 1988-90. Jasmine’s younger brother Aiden also lives with the family.
An attempt to reach the family Wednesday was unsuccessful.
With additional reporting from Tara O’Neill.