Community shows support for Bedford County veteran after house fire

The Dale Court residence that caught fire on Saturday night in Bedford County.
The Dale Court residence that caught fire on Saturday night in Bedford County.(Will Thomas)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 8:05 PM EST
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The tire tracks and puddles were still present Sunday afternoon following the emergency response to Saturday night’s house fire in Bedford County. All day Sunday, there was a different type of emergency response: support.

Dale Court is where 75-year-old Army veteran Ronald Durham has called home for years. Durham and his late wife, Kristy, kept their doors open over the years taking care of children in need. More than 50, to be exact, as they housed the kids for Social Services.

Durham is currently raising 15-year-old Quin and 12-year-old Rosa, who are the 8th and 9th kids the Durham family has raised over the years.

Saturday evening, Ronald Durham received a phone call nobody wants to hear.

“Neighbor said the porch was on fire and we came home as fast as we could.”

When the Durham family returned, all Durham, his family and friends could do was watch as emergency crews worked to extinguish the fire.

”My heart just sunk. I don’t know what I’m gonna do from this point on.”

But close family friends Allen and Christina Kingery did.

“If it was my house, I’d want them to rush to get to me to help to do what they could,” said Allen.

The Kingerys have gotten to know the Durhams for more than the last seven years. Their kids are also very close.

”Couldn’t ask for a better person,” Christina said about Ronnie.

”We consider him, and Quin and Rosa, family,” said Allen.

The Kingerys got to work Saturday night, reaching out to the community in a variety of ways, including starting a Go-Fund-Me account.

They have already begun to see the community answering the call. The Peaks View Christian Church is accepting donations of beds, food, clothes or more for the family too.

“It means a lot and I’m sure it means the world to Ronnie,” said Christina.

“I sure do appreciate everybody, God knows I do,” said Durham.

Ronnie hopes to have another home built on his property and give his kids the opportunity to continue making memories.

The Kingery family said it’s okay you do not have the money to donate, but would appreciate kind words and prayers for the Durhams.

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