BURKEVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — A woman escaped while an overnight blaze erupted inside her home, the family home that had been owned for generations is now destroyed.

Janet Ray Rather has lived her home since 1995 — up until yesterday. On Tuesday night Rather said she smelled something funny, woke up out of bed and tried to investigate. She saw smoke coming from the area near the furnace and tried to clear it out by opening up a door.

“The smoke just started pouring through the walls. The only thing that came to my mind was grab your keys, grab your shoes, grab your pocketbook and get out,” Rather said.

According to Rather, she then called 911.

The windows eventually blew out and flames broke out underneath the trailer.

The family watched nearby for hours as both Burkeville and Crewe fire departments responded. Generations of memories are now lost in the rubble.

“I’m hurt. I’m at a loss for words. It’s devastating,” Rather said. “I have a lot of memories here with loved ones, my children, my family, friends and their friends.”

Rather said she had laid our her clothes for the work week and laid her medication on her bed before getting ready to go to sleep. Thankfully she forgot to take her medication, because she could’ve fallen into a deep sleep.

“My best friends are calling and saying how we did Easter egg hunts and how we always just had a function here. If somebody wanted to have a function, it was here,” Rather said. “This was home away from home for everybody.”

It’s a deeper cut in the heart for her, after losing her son Michael four years ago. She joined her family members today to see what they could salvage in the home and they could only find a few charred photos of him. Rather said everything is gone including his graduation materials and his diploma.

This was also a place where the large family always came back to. Rather’s grandchildren would always come over and play on the trampoline or swim in her pool.

Daryl Ray is Rather’s son who was among the group that tried to salvage her belongings.

“This is where I had my childhood. This is where I met my first best friend,” Ray said.

He plans to support his mother through this difficult transition.

“I always had her back to the fullest and that’s not going to change. Even because of a disaster that’s not going to change. We’re going to shake back,” Ray said. “The devil got to work harder than that.”

According to the family, the American Red Cross is helping them.

If you would like to help them as well, click here.