Bedford County community rushes to help family who lost home, dog in weekend fire

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Community members in Bedford County are rallying around a veteran and his family after they lost their Moneta home — along with their dog — in a blaze over the weekend.

According to the Bedford County Department of Fire & Rescue, a call came in shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4 about a house fire in the 1200 block of Oakview Court. It was later determined that the fire was in the 1000 block of Dale Court.

More than a dozen fire crews from around Bedford County reportedly responded to the fire, as well as the Mayday call issued at approximately 5:19 p.m. for a firefighter in distress.

Officials say the firefighter was quickly taken out of the house, stabilized, and brought to Roanoke Memorial Hospital before being flown to VCU Medical Center in serious but stable condition.

Meanwhile, Ronnie Durham and his kids lost their dog Hershey during the fire, as well as memories of Ronnie’s wife, Kristy Durham, who died about a year ago from cancer.

“We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year and this tops it,” said Ronnie.

Together, Kristy and Ronnie lived a life that revolved around children. They cared for more than 50 kids through Social Services and adopted nine.

(Photo: Courtesy Christina Kingery)

“My wife’s pictures were in there and we lost all of that, all the memories of her,” Ronnie told WFXR News.

Ronnie and the two kids who live with him are now staying with a nearby family friend, Christina Kingery, and her husband following Saturday’s fire.

“I don’t wish this on anyone, especially with him being a veteran and him being up in age,” said Kingery.

The Durham family hopes to rebuild their home, but they are still trying to pull together enough money.

“The kids want to stay here and I do too, so we may get rid of this house and put another house here,” said Ronnie.

Even though the family didn’t have insurance, the community is rallying behind them through a GoFundMe created by the Kingery couple. As of this writing, people have donated $5,660 toward the fundraiser’s $125,000 goal.

The Durham family says they are thankful for the outpouring of community support.

According to Kingery, “Someone went in their car and said, ‘here’s my only shirt’ and he gave it to Ronnie.”

(Photo: Courtesy Christina Kingery)

Ronnie told WFXR News that most of the damage to the home was in the living room, but the fire started on the porch.

At this time, the cause of the fire and the Mayday incident are still under investigation by the Bedford County Fire Marshal’s Office.

For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list

Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on [Apple] and [Android]

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News

More News

News Tip Form