A single mother from Henrico and her four children are trying to stay strong, after losing everything to a fire, days before Christmas. A ceiling fire ignited near a bathroom vent in Samantha Johnson's apartment at Delmont Plaza, Sunday evening. The fire caused severe damage, after smoke, flames and water from fire hoses ravaged the home. Samantha says nothing can be salvaged.
The apartment complex will fix the damage. However, Samantha didn't have renter's insurance. That means, all that she's worked for to provide her family, is gone.
"I was in shock," said Samantha, upon surveying the damage. She stood close to her 10-year-old son, Kniko. Samantha also has three small daughters.
A neighbor called Samantha at work, alerting her that the smoke alarm was going off. Thankfully, no one was inside the apartment. When Samantha arrived, she noticed a black substance all over the walls, ceiling, and even on her bed.
"I got to the top of the steps... It looked like a black spider web," she described. "When I got to my room, I noticed that my entire bed was black...from…the soot or the smoke."
Samantha says firefighters broke through walls to reach the flames.
"The blackness on the wall was continuously spreading," continued Samantha.
A day later the mother told her children that all they had is destroyed, including the Christmas presents.
"Everything you worked for is gone, and that's heartbreaking being a single parent… you have to start from scratch, all over again," said Samantha.
Kniko shed a tear as he thought about what he'd miss most.
"To be honest, my games and my shoes," said the fifth-grader.
However, Samantha says her children understand the real meaning of Christmas, and that they still have each other.
"(My children) already told me they're going to be happy with whatever they get (for Christmas)," continued Samantha.
Samantha and her children are accepting donations through the Red Cross, under Samantha Johnson's name. That number is 804-780-2250.
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