GOODE, Va. – January 17, 2017 is a date Michael Brooks and his family will never forget.
“From my recollection, I woke up outside, and I tried to go back in,” Brooks said.
The father of six said that night, everyone went to bed after his wife had finished their daughter, Lillian’s, hair. But shortly after going to bed, “The dog started barking so I woke up and Eric, and Aaliyah... everybody was screaming, 'Fire! Fire!’” Brooks said.
Brooks said his 4-year-old girl, Lillian, died on the way to a hospital.
“She lit everybody's face up everywhere she went. She would talk to everybody,” Brooks said.
Almost a year after the loss of their little sunshine, the family is understandably still grieving, but are now dealing with another problem.
“We were supposed to be in (a new house by) August but the funds just weren't there. I'm not blaming anyone for that,” Brooks said.
They've been red-flagged, the construction on their new home has been put on hold because they don't have the funds to pay for it.
"We owe $88,000, but furniture and appliances and all that, it's just an astronomical amount,” Brooks said.
The Brooks family personally designed their home in Bedford. They live in Goode at the moment, and have until Jan. 31 to pay up or they will have to figure out somewhere else to live. Their insurance company has been paying for their rent and for the construction of their new home.
“It's not a good feeling as a parent, as a husband. It's not a great feeling. Me and my wife are scrambling to do whatever we can. And to make sure that the house we built isn't taken away from us,” Brooks said.
He credits his family and friends as well as God for holding them together. They started a GoFundMe page hoping anyone could help. Brooks said he's not looking for a handout just a step up.
“If you feel a little tug of God in you, just do whatever you can. Five bucks even helps."
To help, go to this website https://www.gofundme.com/brooks-family-home.