Neighbors rally around Chesapeake fire victims

WAVY/Liz Palka

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A local military family is out of a home for the next few months after fire wreaked havoc on their Chesapeake house Wednesday afternoon.

Chesapeake Fire Department officials said the fire happened around 4:15 p.m. on Luther Street. The Darrigo family and their pets were displaced because of the damage. Now they are staying with neighbor Kimberly Kuptz, who is heading up efforts to find help for the family.

“Just trying to make it as comfortable as possible, until they get where they need to be,” Kuptz said.

Kuptz told the Darrigo family has already sacrificed much. Husband and father Pete Darrigo is deployed with the U.S. Navy. He’s been gone more than a year and is set to return to Chesapeake next week. But, he won’t be able to go home, as his family will need to be out of the house for repairs.

“My hope for them is that they find a place to stay,” Kuptz said. “And that they can be together, reunited as a family.”

Kuptz has started an online fund at to support the Darrigo family. They do have renters insurance, but it takes more than a few days for the insurance to take effect.

“That’s why it’s so important for me to make sure the community knows about this,” Kuptz said. “They are very giving, loyal people — not just to our community, but to our country.”

Kuptz said the fire is believed to be electrical in nature. However, the fire department has not released an official cause.

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