A massive fire and building collapse in Amelia Thursday afternoon left a local family without a home and facing a much bigger home.
Linda Lunsford went missing back in 1996. One day after the anniversary of her disappearance, her mother's home was ruined by a fire. Inside the home were many mementos of Linda.
Police are still investigating the fire, to determine where it started and how. No one was home at the time. So, there are no answers about whether the two might be connected or whether this fire is even suspicious, or just coincidence.
Linda's family doesn't think they're connected, but they do a feel a tremendous loss because of what was lost in the fire.
The home is now a crumpled pile of charred wood and ashes. The naked and burned trees standing nearby show just how tremendous the blaze was.
When firefighters got to the scene, the wind was blowing 15 miles per hour and the flames were shooting through the second story roof.
"This black power line that was coming across the road right here was actually on fire," said Asst. Chief Bob Sesterak with the Amelia VFD.
The siding on the nearby shed slipped and fell in the heat, almost symbolic of the way Linda Lunsford's family felt, watching all of their physical memories of her burn too.
"All of her pictures were in that house. We have nothing left from her but that," said Tony Marsh, a family friend.
The family was able to recover just a few items- one of them the missing poster, from when Linda went missing all those years ago. An item they say, gives them great hope that they will get through this. They also found a magazine cover where Linda was featured for getting her GED.
"Amongst all the burned stuff I wiped it up and I picked it up," said Gloria Wright, clutching the magazine.
We asked if there was some hope to be found in he fact that in this terrible blaze, some of Linda's stuff survived.
"I really don't know about that," said Wright. " I feel in my heart she's gone, but you never know."
The walls of the building are gone, but Linda's family says after all they've been through they find "home" in each other. They hope for answers in what started the fire, too. No one was home when it started.
Lunsford was last seen at the Village Marketplace Shopping Center in Chesterfield, 16 years ago. Though, her family thinks she may have seen her ex-boyfriend after that. If you know anything about her case, call police.
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