It’s been anything but a happy new year for one Richmond family, now struggling to get back on their feet after losing nearly everything in a townhouse fire.
“I couldn’t talk. All I could do was cry, I was just thinking about us being in this house for so long and having all of our memories and baby pictures, and just everything I guess is us, burning right in front of us, and we couldn’t do anything about it,” says Vanessa Egharevba.
She says her family of family of five didn’t have insurance, and the Dec 30 fire has left them with just a few pieces of furniture.
Even worse, the 23-year-old nursing student says she’s now dropping out of school to work full time so she can help her single mother make ends meet.
“Before, I would help out with rent and stuff, but now that we have to replace a lot of our things, I just have to be there to work as well. So it’s going to be hard for me to juggle school and juggle full time work, and be at home helping with the kids. It’s just not going to be possible.”
Egharevba says she’d initially feared her siblings, who had lost everything down to clothing and shoes, would have to miss school too – but says her paycheck and donations from friends, family, and strangers have meant they’ve got enough to get back to class.
She says they were initially living in a hotel, and have now found a new home but are re-starting from almost scratch.
Richmond fire says the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
A fundraiser for the family has been set up here.