BOONES MILL, Va. – A family in Franklin County is picking up the pieces after a massive house fire took everything they own over the weekend.
Just days before Christmas, the Richards family lost 30 years worth of memories.
“You don’t know what you got until its gone. That’s an old phrase I’ve always said because I never really realized it until it was gone and you don’t really but we’re just trying to get through it and right now,” Anna Richards said.
Everyone in the family was at their home on Webb Mountain Road in Franklin County when the fire broke out over the weekend. An oxygen tank exploded after the fire started and blew the roof off of the home.
“The whole top of the house was blazing and then I realized why they were in a hurry to get out of there. But it was like a nightmare and then when it was all said and done, I came up here to look at it and it was all gone,” Anna Richards said.
Thankfully, every person and pet made it out safely. 2020 has already been a tough year for Anna Richards, who lost her husband over the summer.
“It’s devastating and sad, you know, six days away from Christmas who wouldn’t who would want that, you know, but, you know I believe if we stay strong and...we come together as a family as family should, we’re going to be okay,” Brian Richards said.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Now Richards and her pets are left picking up the pieces and looking for a new place to live.
“I truly don’t want to leave it and I’m going to try to rebuild someway to stay here so we’re working on it,” Anna Richards said.
A GoFundMe has been created to help Anna and her family get back on their feet.
But the family says no amount of money could ever replace the nearly three decades worth of memories now in ashes.
“You know they they’ve let us live here for as long as I’ve been alive, 18 years and they did everything they could for us and just seeing it all go away just hurts, hurts a lot, you know it takes something out of you but I believe all of our strength doesn’t come from lifting weights that comes from picking ourselves up every time that we were knocked down, " Brian Richards said.
To donate to the GoFundMe, you can click here.