GoFundMe created to ‘rebuild’ lives of family who lost home, dogs in Williamsburg fire

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A photo of a family's dog lost in a house fire early March 8 is pictured on a GoFundMe page started by Paws Pet Resort. (Courtesy GoFundMe/Paws Pet Resort)
A photo of a family’s dog that was lost in a house fire early March 8 is pictured on a GoFundMe page created by Paws Pet Resort. (Courtesy GoFundMe/Paws Pet Resort)

The Williamsburg community is uniting around a family who lost everything – including two pet dogs – in an early morning house fire Wednesday.

A GoFundMe page created by two family friends topped $220 in just two hours Wednesday afternoon.

The fire on Tyler Brooks Drive displaced two children and three adults, and sent two of them, a man and a young girl, to the hospital, Williamsburg Fire Chief Larry Snyder said.

The GoFundMe was created by two women from Paws Pet Resort, Karen Joyner and Deb Walton. The family’s two dogs, Caley and Hooch, spent their days at the pet resort. Their owner, Vicki, also works at the pet resort.

“All donations will go to rebuilding this young family lives with housing and clothing for Vicki her husband and 2 children under the age of 10,” the GoFundMe post read.

The fundraiser has a $10,000 goal, according to the fundraiser page.

“… [W]ith your help we can show Vicki and Marques how the dog community can pull together to help one of our own,” the post said.

A fire tore through this home in the Skipwith Farms neighborhood of Williamsburg Wednesday morning, displacing a family of five. (Courtesy Larry Snyder)
A fire tore through a home in the Skipwith Farms neighborhood of Williamsburg Wednesday morning. (Courtesy Larry Snyder)

All donations will go toward “rebuilding this young family lives with housing and clothing,” the post said.

An administrator post on the Paws Pet Resort Facebook page said people can drop off items and donations at the pet resort, located at 5423 Airport Road in Williamsburg.

Joyner said the family needs clothing for young children, blankets, household goods, and “the essentials” for their day-to-day needs.

Paws Pet Resort will be accepting donations during their regular business hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

The fire broke out just after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning in the 200 block of Tyler Brooks Drive in the Skipwith Farms community.

Fire crews arrived on-scene and found one victim who required immediate medical attention, according to a Williamsburg Fire Department news release.

Snyder said one adult was still trapped in the house when dispatchers received the fire call, but found the person outside when crews arrived.

A bystander had pulled that person out of the home, he said.

The fire was marked “under control” at 2:44 a.m.

The adult, who Snyder said was in his 20’s, suffered from smoke inhalation and burns to his body. He was still in the hospital at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Snyder said.

The family member is being treated at a burn unit in Norfolk, according to the GoFundMe page.

Snyder did not know whether the child who was hospitalized had been discharged as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

According to Snyder, preliminary investigation revealed closed bedroom doors were likely a factor in controlling the spread of fire, allowing the family to escape the home.

He said the bulk of the damage was in the kitchen, where the body of the fire was located and where they believe the fire originated. There was also significant smoke and water damage to the home, he said.

The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation by the City of Williamsburg Community Risk Reduction, in conjunction with the James City County Fire Marshal’s office.

Click here for the GoFundMe page for the family.