Family known for helping is now in need

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The Atkinson family in Middlesex County is known for its giving. But this time, the family is finding themselves in an odd situation.

“We have sympathy for anybody that needs help,” said Victoria Fletcher. “I guess we like doing anything we can for somebody that needs it.”

Whether it is providing a shoulder to those who have lost a loved one or helping a family pick up the pieces after a fire, the Atkinson’s are there, always first in line to raise money or collect clothing. But now, the table has turned.

“Normally I’m on the other end,” said Mary Atkinson. “I’m the one who is helping.”Jason Marks reports on Middlesex house fire2

Wednesday night, fire ripped though the home that has been in the family for more than a century. Their house is located on Stormont Road, just east of Saluda.

Photos: Family in need after fire destroys home

“I looked out the back door and flames were shooting out the side of the house,” Atkinson said. “I said ‘oh my God, the house is on fire.'”

Mary Atkinson lives next door to the old house. Her daughter Victoria moved in about a year ago.

“This was our home and it’s gone,” Fletcher said.

Fire crews believe the old wiring is what started flames. Thursday, the family sifted though burned belongings to see what could be salvaged.

“It’s a balloon structure, so once it went up into it there was no stopping it,” Atkinson added.

The Atkinson’s find themselves now in an overwhelming situation. This time they are getting help from the community they’ve helped so often.

“I’m not used to it,” Fletcher said. “We don’t know what to say. We don’t know what to think. We don’t know what to do.”

The community is starting to rally around the family. They’ve set up a Facebook page fully dedicated to providing help — click here to check it out.

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