Henrico family gets help from son’s teacher, community after lightning sparks destructive fire

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Community members have gathered around a Henrico family who lost their home and belongings Thursday after a lightning strike sparked a fire. The Muhammad family said they never expected to lose everything but they told 8News the love and support they’ve received in the last 24 hours has made all the difference.

“I have no home,” Sheikh Muhammad said, “I have no where to really go anywhere.”

Muhammad’s home was destroyed after a lightning strike ignited a crippling fire.

“It was just a split second, I couldn’t believe fire could move that fast,” S. Muhammad told 8News. “It’s like a bonfire, real quick.”

Everyone was able to make it out safe despite a harrowing scene.

“The ceiling started dropping in the hallway,” Muhammad explained.

Now, the six people in the family are left without a home or anything they owned.

“We just went school shopping for them and they had brand new clothes on the tag they never got a chance to even wear them,” Muhammad said. “So, it’s like now we’re down on ground zero. We have nothing.”

The family reached out to their oldest son’s former teacher, Kathryn Costley, and she began setting up ways for people to help. Costley spoke with 8News about the impact the fire had on her.

“It’s like it happened to one of my own family members,” Costley said. “So, just like anyone else would want to reach out and support their family members, we consider it to be the same thing.”

The effort taken by Costley and other locals means the world to the Muhammad family.

“I really was shocked that people would care that much about our situation. It’s amazing that it’s always the strangers that help you the most,” said Muhammad.

The American Red Cross, Kindecare Learning Center, Kids to Kids have been helping with donations and other aspects.

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