Family of six displaced, home condemned after Newport News fire

Posted at 10:12 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 09:10:17-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A family of six has been forced out of their home after a fire in the 500 block of Woodfin Road Monday night.

Ashley Lovell and her fiancé, Jim Sheaffer, were relaxing at their home when their youngest child yelled, "Mom, the house is on fire."

The call came in at 7:08 p.m., and the first units arrived on scene at 7:11 p.m.

Sheaffer immediately grabbed their three kids who were inside while Lovell headed towards her daughter's room to get their cat.

“I open the door, and my daughter's bed is just engulfed in flames and there is smoke coming out," said Lovell.

The cat didn't make it out of the house, but firefighters told the family they found her in the living room.

The single-family home was condemned due to damage from the fire, meaning the family has to start from scratch - something they tell News 3 they were not prepared for, especially right before the school year starts.

Related: 15 people displaced after fire rips through Chesapeake townhomes

“There’s always, 'How do you supply for four kids going back to school?' That is already a whirlwind," she adds.

The community is already stepping up with donations. A local church donated school supplies to the children.

Lovell says, "I just want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart because I don’t know what I did to deserve all the help that we are getting, but I appreciate it.”

The one thing that also survived the fire is the American flag. Sheaffer, who is a veteran, says, “Seeing that it still made it and seeing the outpouring of people just gives me renewed faith in my country and everybody in it.”

A GoFundMe page was created to help the family with the family burden. To help the family rebuild, click here.

Fire marshals say an electrical issue started the fire.

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