Community Helps Family After It Loses Everything in Fire

Franklin Co., VA - A Franklin County family that lost everything in a fire early Sunday is learning just how good their community really is.

Perdue family members, which have been living in a hotel since the fire, say that while they didn't have much, they always worked for what they did have, which makes this incredible outpouring of support overwhelming.

The early morning fire started in the out buildings but quickly spread to the rest of the house as five out of six members of the Perdue family slept.

In the end, the family made it out safely, but little else was saved.

"My husband doesn't have a full time job, so we struggle a lot and I'm thinking, 'Where are we going to live? What are we going to do,'" said Melissa Perdue.

For now, home is at the Comfort Inn in Rocky Mount, which is where dozens of people have called and stopped by to lend the family their love.

Susie Cross brought by clothes and more than $200 in cash.

"Ever since this happened, I have prayed for the kids because the kids have lost everything they had," said Susie Cross.

A little ways down the street, the rest of the Perdue family is starting to move into their new home; provided by their landlord and filled with gifts from friends and strangers alike. But the biggest gift to the family came during those early morning hours as their home burned.

"When the door finally busted open, I saw the two kids at the top of the stairs which broke my heart right away," said Patrick Lenez.

Lenez and his wife just happened to be driving to Roanoke. The retired 25 year veteran fire captain didn't hesitate when he saw the smoke, waking the family just in time.

"For whatever reason, stuff lined up. It's beyond anything I did. Obviously there was something looking over that family and I was just able to help them a little bit," said Lenez.

"Patrick and his wife... I wish I could repay them for saving our lives because I don't think we would have got out of there," said Perdue.

If you are interested in helping the Perdue family, cash may be the best gift. All of their money, which they kept at home, was destroyed.

You can contribute to an account that has been set up at Franklin Community Bank under the Melissa Perdue Family fund.