STOKESDALE, N.C. -- A family of six lost everything in an early morning house fire on Kingsbranch Drive in Stokesdale.
“You can't tell from the outside, but everything is torn up and ruined on the inside. Alexandria, the little girl, her room was the worst. I'm just glad she got out OK,” said Melissa Bellow, the children’s aunt.
Alexandria was one of four children asleep when the fire broke out at around 3 a.m. on April 28. The kids are 2, 6, 8 and 9 years old.
Their parents, Kelly and Daniel Ritchie, woke up to the smell of smoke.
“We noticed there was smoke filling the rooms, so we immediately started getting the kids out,” said Kelly Ritchie, the kids’ mother.
Firefighters were on scene for at least three hours. Add-ons to the house made it difficult to put the fire out, according to crews. Fire officials told the family the fire was caused by an electrical issue.
Because the family doesn’t have renter’s insurance, they are starting over with nothing.
“A lot of people have donated clothes and kitchen appliances. Really, they just need a home to put the stuff in that people are being generous and donating,” said Bellow.
Even though the family is squeezed into a relatives’ home for now, Ritchie considers herself blessed.
“That's all I care about, that all my children are still here. We're all still here. None of the material things matter,” said Bellow.
A GoFundMe page page has been created on the family’s behalf.