CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield family of five is trying to pick up the pieces after their home went up in flames in the early morning hours on Friday, June 3.
The fire happened on Carriage Creek Road in Brandermill. Stephanie Muhlheim, the owner of the house, said she and her family had just left town for vacation when neighbors frantically began calling.
“My neighbor called and said that our house was on fire. I thought she was joking, but when she said it was real, I didn’t know how to react,” Muhlheim said. “Since then, it has just been a firestorm of calls.”
Chesterfield Fire and EMS rushed to the house around 4 a.m. on Friday. On scene, firefighters found flames ripping through the home. After crews got the blaze under control, the house was deemed a complete loss.
“Our whole life was in that house,” Mulheim said. “We moved here when my daughter Angelina was four. We brought two babies into that home. The majority of our marriage was in that home.”
She added, “It’s just very difficult to see it. The floors are all collapsed, and it’s heartbreaking to imagine what if we would’ve been here when that happened.”
As this family grapples with the emotional side of this tragedy, they’re also left to figure out ‘what’s next.’
Right now, Muhlheim, her husband, and three children are staying at an extended stay hotel about 25 minutes away from the home. However, there is still a large need for the essentials to get them back on their feet.
“They’re still a lot of unknowns. We don’t really know exactly what’s going to happen next,” she said. “Replacing things – birth certificates, social security cards, keys to the car, everything.”
Holding back tears, Muhlheim said it has been challenging to process this situation, but she’s thankful to the community for their outpouring of support thus far.
“The community in Brandermill, neighboring churches, firefighters, everyone has been fantastic, and that’s the only reason we’ve been able to get through what we have so far,” she said.