‘We lost everything’: Family of 7 picking up the pieces after fire destroys Virginia home

Around the South

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – A family of seven is slowly picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed their mobile home early Sunday morning.

The community is now lending a hand to the Aquino family who needs your help so they can rebuild.

Josue Aquino says around 7 a.m. Sunday his wife smelled smoke in their mobile home at the Heritage Mobile Home Park off of Pocahontas Trail in Williamsburg.

They quickly started getting their children out before realizing their one daughter was still trapped inside.

He got emotional describing when he ran inside to save her.

“She couldn’t come out,” he said. “She cried because she tried to get out, but it was too much smoke in there. We couldn’t walk over there. But when I tried to go in there, the fire was coming into my face.”

While he saved his daughter, their neighbor of six years Tonya Dempsey called the fire department while her husband jumped into action to help put the fire out. 

“You got a family of seven in here and it’s terrible because they had just put all this money into this trailer to rebuild it from the ground up, better than what they were living in, and they just lost everything,” Dempsey said.

Aquino owns a small business as a painter to provide for his five children from ages 4 to 14.

They’ve lost their clothes, phones, school laptops and everything else after this fire.

“What I built for them has burned to the ground,” said Aquino. “So today we don’t have anything. We don’t know where to go, where to live. We don’t have anything.”

Those close to the family set up a Facebook fundraiser to help them rebuild.

People can contact their neighbors Tonya Dempsey at tonyadempsey73@gmail.com and Zuleima Alejandre at zuly0347@gmail.com to find out more about how to help the family.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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