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First responders across U.S. helping Grundy man rebuild collection lost in fire

First responders across U.S. helping Grundy man rebuild collection lost in fire

BUCHANAN COUNTY, VA - Just two days before Christmas, Leona Wolford and her son Nathan lost everything in what is believed to be an electrical fire at their home in Grundy.

"It's just devastating, It's very very devastating to lose everything that you've got and things that you can't replace," Leona says.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they were able to contain the fire to the kitchen. Thinking the danger was over, Leona and Nathan left for dinner, only to receive an urgent call a few minutes later.

"The neighbor calls and says you'd better get back down here, the house is burning good. So when we got back down there, by that time it was fully engulfed, and I just lost it," Leona says.

For Leona, the house was more than just a place to live.

"It was a sentimental house because my mother's baby brother and her daddy built the house, so it was more of a sentimental house than anything," she says.

Her son Nathan, losing his collection of fire fighter and police memorabilia. Since the fire, Leona and Nathan have been staying at a hotel. She says the community support has helped them through this difficult time, providing clothes, supplies, and money.

"I'm amazed at how the community has come in and supported and the things that they've donated," Leona says.

She says fire departments from New York, Georgia, and right here in Grundy are helping Nathan rebuild his emergency responders collection.

"We're going to try to get him some Rescue 33 shirts and a couple hats and some things like that, the shirts that we wear, and give them to him," says general manager of Rescue 33 in nearby Vansant.

While the insurance company decides what to do with the old house, Leona is working hard at finding a new place to live, and hoping for a brighter future.

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