UPDATED: Powhatan family of 8 thinks lightning sparked devastating fire

Posted at 3:45 PM, Sep 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-03 22:41:03-04


Hollywood Baptist Church in Powhatan will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,  accepting donations for the family.

Donations needed are as follows:

For the 5-year-old twins: Size 5 pants/shirts, 13 shoes, in kindergarten at Pocahontas Elementary School

The 8-year-old boy: Size 10/12 pants/shirts, 4 shoes, 3rd grade Pocahontas Elementary School

The 13-year-old girl: Size 11/12 misses pants, medium/large misses shirts, 9 shoes. 8th grade, Powhatan Jr. High

The 16-year-old boy: Size 34 x 30 pants, large, XL shirts, shoe sizes 10.5, 10th grade, Powhatan High

And the adults: Woman's size 14 pants, large shirts, and 8.5 shoes/ Mens 2x shirts, 40 x 32 pants and size 12 shoes.

If you would like to contact someone from the church in regards to them being open for donations you can contact Crystal at  804-819-0443.

The Powhatan Foodlion and Walmart have both agreed to donate to the family as well.

POWHATAN, Va. (WTVR) -- While most kids are gearing up for back to school, at least one family’s kids are wondering how they are going to keep focused after fire destroyed their home.

Frank Ross and his family live on Powhatan Lakes Road in Powhatan and were out enjoying a barbeque with loved ones when they got news that lightning hit their home.

Ross said a neighbor heard the loud boom and they believe lightning hit a meter box on the outside of his home, which sparked a fire.

Though they're devastated by losing just about everything, they're grateful no one was injured.

Ross, a long-time employee of the Virginia State Police, said he’s also glad he was able to save a few pictures in his living room. That area was hit hard with water damage, but not much fire damage. He showed us the wedding picture that he was able to save.

Ross lives in the home with his wife Maxine, their daughter and their five grandchildren: a set of 5-year-old twins (boy and girl), an 8-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl and their teenage grandson Perrion, a 10th grader at Powhatan High School.

Despite the devastating fire, Perrion is still trying to stay focused. He finished an early morning football practice Monday morning before catching a ride to see what was left of his home.

“Everything in my room is gone. I just came to see what it looked like,” Perrion said.

He admits he’s a little anxious now about starting school on a note like this. “It’s going to be kind of hard. This will be on my mind. I’ll still be thinking about it."

Perrion and his grandfather say they’re blown away by the kindness of strangers.

“Everybody’s been good to us. Just about everybody’s been reaching out to us,” Ross explained.

Audrey Hill said the loss of her brother’s home has shown them how great their community is.

The family has been able to get all the kids' school supplies and some clothes. As for the rest, they believe everything could fall into place.

“God is in charge and He will handle this for my brother and make it all come up beautiful,” Hill added.

The Red Cross has stepped in to assist. Ross said they will be staying about 25 minutes away from their home at a relative's until they can rebuild.

He said he is grateful for help from his extended family, the community, and his church family at Hollywood Baptist Church.

If you would like to help this family, contact the Greater Richmond Red Cross.