Community rallies around Moneta veteran and his family after fire destroys their home

As the 75-year-old sifted through the rubble, strangers stopped by to pray, giving him cards and money


MONETA, Va. – Neighbors are rallying behind a Moneta Veteran and his family who lost their home to a fire this weekend.

On Saturday evening, a fire destroyed the home on Dale Court that Ronnie Durham and his two young kids, who he lovingly adopted, called home for more than a decade.

The fire happened Saturday evening in Moneta.

They were headed into town when they got the call that their home wouldn’t be there by the time that got back.

“I’m just living day by day,” said Durham. “With God’s grace, I hope we can get through this.”

He said they lost nearly everything in the fire, including the things that can’t be replaced, like photos and his late wife’s belongings.

“At my age, it’s hard for me to start all over again,” he continued. “This has been one thing after another on me.”

As the 75-year-old sifted through the rubble, strangers stopped by to pray, giving him cards and money; however, one neighbor is going above and beyond.

“Honestly it hurts, it really does,” said family friend Christina Kingery. “Knowing that Ronnie is up in age and he’s got a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old, I couldn’t imagine that for any family.”

Kingery has lived next door to Durham for years.

She said he and the kids are family to her and that’s why she’s taking them in until they can get a new place.

“It’s hard to explain how bad it was,” she adds. “Something you don’t ever want to get the phone call of, never.”

Kingery and others said they’ll do what they can to make sure the family has a home in time for Christmas, but it might take a miracle.

“You never know how much someone has,” Kingery says. “If you can change the world with a prayer, a donation, a thank you, that would be greatly appreciated. It’s about the kindness that people have for one another.”

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the blaze that seriously hurt a firefighter and killed a dog.

There is a GoFundMe campaign for the family if you’d like to help

About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.