Madison Heights Family Devastated by House Fire - - ABC13

Madison Heights Family Devastated by House Fire


Reporter: Jeremy Mills

Amherst Co., VA - A Madison Heights family says all they've worked for is now gone. Their home and everything in it, burned down Monday night, and they say they have no insurance.

The family of four, including an elderly woman, a nine-year-old boy, and man with severe special needs made it out the door while the roof literally crumbled in flames behind them.

They escaped with only the clothes on their backs. They're thankful to be alive but can't help but mourn for all they've lost.  June Johns says it's 20 years of memories up in flames. 

"Sad, very sad, that's all I had," said Johns. 

"It was all she had and now they've got nothing," said Mary Purvis, John's sister. 

"They're holding up, I mean they are glad to be living and right now that's all you can ask for and you know they're just saying their prayers," said Warren Wright, John's brother. 

The destruction includes the loss of medical equipment needed for John's 34-year-old son with cerebral palsy. 

"He lost everything, all of his wheelchairs, everything," said Wright.

"He's 34 but he's got a child's mind and he really doesn't understand what has happened," said Purvis.

Investigators say the fire started from a wood stove. Johns just had it installed on Sunday. She says she had to turn to burning wood because she could no longer afford the rising cost of home heating oil.

"I was trying to save money to keep everybody warm by burning it again," Johns said.

She hopes others can learn a lesson from her loss.

"It's dangerous, if they don't have to burn, don't burn. That's what I can tell anybody, don't do it because like I said, two days and look where it got me," Johns said.

Johns lost her one-year-old kitten. It was trapped upstairs and couldn't get out.

On Tuesday, her family moved everything of value out of the garage because they are afraid looters would come looking for items to steal. 

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