Loved ones and NBC12 viewers reach out to displaced family of 6

Loved ones and NBC12 viewers reach out to displaced family of 6
The family says they were able to escape thanks to Zeus. (Source: NBC12)
The family says they were able to escape thanks to Zeus. (Source: NBC12)

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Loved ones and even NBC12 viewers are making Christmas brighter for a Chesterfield family of six after their home was severely damaged in a fire.

NBC12 viewer Carol Bragg knew she wanted to give the Ludwig family a Christmas tree after watching the news and seeing a fire damage their home on Old Hundred Road. Everyone, including four children ranging from 10 to 17 years old, got out alive. The family says they owe it all to their German Shepherd named Zeus.

"Zeus went to that back window," says mom Jennifer Ludwig. "He started growling and it was a very different growl."

She says a few minutes later, her husband saw flames creeping up the outside of the house.

"My daughter's bed is behind that fire," says Jennifer.

The three girls were sleeping in that room. Jennifer ran to get the children out.

"I was beating on both sides of the wall, running up the stairs," she said. "I never opened their door. I kind of busted through their door and told them to get up and get out."

Firefighters say the flames started in the chimney and spread within minutes. The family says by the time they got outside, it had spread to the roof.

It's been a little over a week since that's happened. Since then, the community has come out to support the Ludwig's in a big way. While they have a long way to go, donations are helping pay for the rental home. People are giving clothes, shoes and gift cards. Random acts of kindness have shown this family how generous people can be during a time they are filled with worry.

The youngest child, Taylor, doesn't have that anxiety because she says another form of help will come soon.

"Santa! We always have Santa!" she said.

Click on this link to help the family: https://www.gofundme.com/help-displaced-by-fire?ssid=848736946&pos=4

Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved