CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– A Chesterfield family is heading into the new year without a place to stay after their home went up in flames just before Christmas.
Chesterfield Fire arrived to the 5700 block of North Chase Court on Friday, Dec. 23 around 1:40 p.m. for a reported housefire. The fire was brought under control at 2:10 p.m., according to authorities, but not before it had burned through the first and second floor of the house.
Six adults were displaced by the fire, including the homeowner, Terry Williams. Terry is still coming to terms with having to save his disabled sister, who is paralyzed on one side, and his mother, who has dementia, from the burning home.
“The garage door was closed and I’m screaming at Tyra, and she was still on the phone saying ‘open the garage, open the garage!’,” Terry recalled. “When I did come in, I noticed my mom still in the room and the flames are burning on my recliner. And my mom is just overwhelmed. I finally got her to the laundry room but she was trying to go back. Unfortunately, I had to lay her down and drag her out. Left scrapes all over but that’s the only way I could get her out. I couldn’t pick her up.”
When he looks back on that day, Terry’s brother Thomas Williams wishes they were all there.
“We were at Costco trying to finish up Christmas shopping,” Thomas said. “Normally somebody would’ve still been here at that moment, but we all went out to get this done early so we could enjoy ourselves.”
Now, the house the family has called home for 20 years is burnt up, and all of their prized possessions are gone.
“It’s all damaged,” Terry said. “Everything’s damaged. Everything’s done. Everything.”
Authorities do not suspect foul play and instead believe the fire was caused by smoking materials in the living room by the recliner.
The Williams family is looking to move forward, but the road to recovery will be a long one. The family is staying at a local motel until they figure out the next steps in their process. Terry says the house can be salvaged, but it will be both costly and time consuming.
“This is a long road traveled,” Terry said. “This is gonna be a year, six months, who knows how long it’s going to be.”