RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A heartbroken Richmond mother is speaking out for the first time after an apartment fire claimed her son's life. She wants to publicly thank the men and women who worked to try and rescue the 27-year-old father of two.
Crews evacuated residents from the Saint John's Woods apartment building over the weekend.
Derek Henderson's mom, Alice, wanted to publicly thank the men and women who fought to save the loving father of two. "It was time for Derek to go," said Henderson. "It was nothing you could have done to save him. It wasn't in God's plan, but I thank you for what you do every single day."
Alice says she can't help but smile when she thinks of her son's infectious grin. After the devastating blaze, the community has stepped in to help. The children lost all their clothing and toys in the fire. Charles Willis with United Communities Against Crime delivered donated toys to the family. The family reminds you to cherish your loved ones while they're here. "Often times, good kind-hearted people don't get their flowers until they are unable to smell them," said Henderson's brother Brain.
There's nothing the family wouldn't give to have this son, father, and brother back home. "I'm getting ready to bury my baby," said Henderson. "I never could have imagined doing that. It never crossed my mind."
Henderson says the challenge now is giving her son a proper burial. Click here if you would like to help the family. A vigil is planned for Henderson this Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Forest Hill Park. You are asked to wear blue and gold because those were his favorite colors.
Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.