Richmond firefighters 'Fight More Than Fire' by rebuilding home

Richmond firefighters 'Fight More Than Fire' by rebuilding home

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - A group of Richmond firefighters is knocking down flames and rebuilding lives.

The group, Fighting More Than Fire, is completely renovating a Hopewell house which burned to its core, back in December. Now, the single mother-of-three who lives there, her children and parents, are just weeks away from moving back in.

The Richmond firefighters are helping fight the battle that begins, after the smoke clears.

"We slug hose, and we pull ceilings, and we make sure everybody is safe, and we get the fire out. But, in the meantime, the family is sitting in their front yard, just crying because they just lost everything," said Fighting More Than Fire founder, and Richmond firefighter, Jesse Baust.

Alisha Bennett, her three children, and her parents, watched flames consume their home just before last Christmas. The family didn't have insurance, at the time. Fighting More Than Fire rushed to the call, fundraising to put the Alisha and her family up in an apartment.

"Fighting More than Fire pays our rent, pays our water, pays our power… has paid for everything, so we can financially get ready to move back in," said Bennett.

Fire crews are taking on the home again, this time rebuilding it- starting with the roof. Sunday, firefighters and other volunteers installed new shingles on the home. The group plans to also renovate the entire inside of the house.

"We're going to redo the rooms. We have a whole new kitchen that needs to get in there, a bathroom that needs to be gutted and redone," continued Baust.

Bennett is taken aback by the overwhelming generosity. "It's wonderful… Our family can never repay (Fighting More Than Fire) in anyway that I would see fit, but we're here to do whatever we can for the next person along the line."

Baust says that's just what his mission is all about, helping. "I'm a firefighter. I was born to help people. I saw that there was a need. We came in here and put the fire out, but that wasn't enough."

Other contractors and companies are also donating time, money and supplies to the effort, including Allied Building Products, Eagle Construction of Virginia, Applied Veterans Group, and Eagle Bay Hardscape Products. Fighting More Than Fires is still raising money and rallying volunteers to help finish the group's first home.