Billy Munsey's friends are by his side helping him pick up the pieces after a fire destroyed his Pearisburg home Thursday. "When I came back I went, 'What's that light up there on the house?' I looked there and flames were shooting out about three feet from there," said Billy Munsey.
He ran to save his animals. "Three dogs, three cats, a whole group of chickens. Had one chicken get her tail feathers singed."
Scrap metal is about all that's left to salvage. Billy did not have insurance on his home.
"Monetary things don't mean much after something like this happens," he said.
It's the sentimental items that mean far more to Billy. It was late January, 13 years ago his 16-year-old daughter Tara Rose disappeared in Radford. Her body was found a few weeks later on February 10. He doesn't quite know what to make of the idea he's starting over again today, almost to the day he buried his little girl. Tara would have turned 30, February 2.
"Maybe if you look at the sun, equinox, all that, maybe it's the same day. You never know."
His pictures and mementos of Tara are now all gone. "I lost all of them," he said fighting back tears. "Everything. Somebody said I got them in my memory but it's hard to print anything off of that."
Some might ask how one man can endure so much loss. Billy reminds me of something he said when he learned Tara had been killed. "Last time, a long time ago I told you this. Good friends and faith in the Lord is the only thing that can get you through things like this. When it keeps happening you really got to have faith."
Billy is staying with his son DD and his wife in Radford.
A fund has been set up at Stellar One Bank. Donations can be made to the William T. Munsey III Home Fund at any Stellar One branch. You can also mail donations to:
Stellar One 605 Wenonah Avenue
Pearisburg, VA 24134