Four displaced after house fire in Henrico - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Four displaced after house fire in Henrico


A family in Henrico lost everything after a fire engulfed their home, early Sunday morning.

The home on South Fern Avenue was so badly damaged from fire, smoke and water, no one is allowed back in.

The family of four is staying in a nearby hotel, for now, and are trying to figure out where they'll find clothing and a place to stay in the upcoming days.

A mother sits on the front steps of her charred home. "There's nothing left. I mean, there's nothing," said Tammy Johnson, of her home of five years.

She and her husband rent the single-level house, shared by her 16-year-old son and adult daughter.

Sunday morning, Tammy wore all that's now in her possession, including a pair of borrowed sneakers and a blanket from the Red Cross, draping her shoulders.

The family says the fire started in the teenager's bedroom, near his bedside.

"My right arm started getting hot, so I rolled over, and seen the fire," said James "J.J." Johnson.

J.J. and his stepfather, Harmon Johnson, tried dousing the flames, even using an extinguisher.

"I got the fire extinguisher, and I used it -- didn't seem to help. So, I went in the kitchen, and got the other fire extinguisher. Used it. That didn't seem to help," said Johnson.

"Then they (her husband and son) kept throwing water on it, trying to throw it out -- black smoke went everywhere," described Tammy.

The family of four evacuated as flames spread into the attic.

Firemen blasted water into the home, controlling the fire in 45 minutes. The family looked on from an ambulance wearing all they had left.

"Helpless. There wasn't much more I could do," said Harmon.

"(I thought to myself) why did it have to be me?" said J.J..

"We've lost everything, you know. Everything," said Tammy through tears.

The Red Cross is helping the Johnson family out, temporarily. They need everything, especially clothes, and a place to stay.

For now, investigators are still working to determine just how this fire started.

Donations are being accepted at the local Red Cross, for the Johnson family. Call (804)-780-2250 if you can help.

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