Update on Henrico family living in burned home

Posted at 10:55 PM, Jun 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-27 23:28:04-04

Henrico, Va. (WTVR)– UPDATE: Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Emory Heiston says following Monday’s storm he and his family had no choice but to leave their charred home.

Heiston and his family are now staying with his boss temporarily. He plans on talking with the Red Cross to see if they can help with finding rental housing. At the same time, Heiston is hoping to rebuild his family’s home.

Henrico, Va. (WTVR)--Would you have a plan in place if your home caught fire while you were asleep? If it was ruined, would you be covered financially after the fire?

CBS 6 reporter Lorenzo Hall spoke with one family who said they have no choice but to live in their burned home.

If you drove past the west end home of Emory Heiston, everything would seem okay from the outside. But walk inside and you'll see that's not the case.

“If I can't get this fixed, where are we going to go now?” said Heiston.

Heiston, along with his fiancé and three-year-old daughter have moved back into in their charred home that caught fire several weeks ago. "Can't sleep at night...because it's not securely locked up,” he said.

“You don't know if someone is going to come in or what kind of bugs and critters are coming in.”

“The weather, it's like, torture,” said Heiston.

Keeping cool is tough. The water pump was damaged in the fire, leaving them waterless.

Heiston said friends help re-fill water bottles and neighbors help with electricity.

“This is wiring from my neighbor,” said Heiston. “He's allowing me to get power during the day." 

Heiston said they've exhausted all resources, including the Red Cross and local charities.

"Every case is different,” Reggie Gordon, said, with the Red Cross. He said there is still more help available for families like Heiston's.

Aside from the immediate help following a fire, Gordon said they assist some eligible families with finding and funding an apartment.

“We can provide some rental assistance for a short time,” he said.

“I messed up,” said Heiston.

Heiston said he knows homeowners insurance would have prevented this but said he only makes $800 a month.

He said next time it will be a priority, but, he wanted to tell his story to keep the same from happening to you. "Don't take it for granted because it can be snatched from you in the blink of an eye.”

Heiston said they are choosing not to stay at a homeless shelter because his family would have to split up. At some shelters, males and females are required to sleep in separate locations.