HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Having a home destroyed by a fire would be devastating for any family, but it's especially difficult during the holidays.
Despite that, a Beaverdam family says they are thankful because there are people helping them through it.
For 13 years, the Jacksons called eight acres on Country Sky Way in Beaverdam home. But in just a few hours, everything was gone.
"It wasn't real, and then I got here," said Brianne Jackson. "I saw it, and I just hit the ground."
They had only been on a vacation at Disney World for three days, when the pet sitter called with the horrible news - the home had been burning overnight.
Neighbors were also on vacation, so nobody saw the flames. Firefighters still don't know what caused it.
And the loss goes beyond material things, because the Jacksons also rescue animals. Some of them were trapped inside the home, including the family's 13-year-old rescue dog.
"I think that's just what hurts the most," said Jackson. "I just want her back. I don't care about stuff, I just want Gaia."
Despite the heavy loss, Jackson says it's her family, especially her children Will and Claire, and the community that's kept them going.
From the moment they came home, people were already reaching out.
"It took us 24 hours to get home from the time we heard," said Jackson. "And by the time I got home, there was a care package waiting for us with socks and underwear and toiletries and things, and I had no idea. And it's been amazing."
Meal trains, fundraisers and even messages of hope have kept this family going.
"I love my Beaverdam community, my central VA community, my VCU community," said Jackson.
And there are animals that survived including several prized chickens, geese and pigeons - all things that are helping the Jacksons move forward with hope.
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