What the Prince George fire chief wants to tell you, after this family was left homeless

Posted at 7:40 PM, Dec 01, 2014

PRINCE GEORGE, Va. --The Ward family of Prince George is left searching through what is left of their home after a weekend fire.

"That used to be my mattress," Michael Ward said.

"You lose personal items -- but we didn't lose a life."

"We had a candle fire that caught onto a blanket, and by the time I got in there to extinguish it the flames were too much," Ward added.

The Ward family said it will take at least six months to remodel the home inside.

According to the fire department, the blaze started around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, and was the result of a candle being left to burn for too long.

Chief Brad Owens said the fire  is a reminder to all to be careful during the holidays, when candles are lit and lights placed on live trees.

"If you have a live tree make sure you water it, if not it can dry out and become very combustable," Owens said.

Nearby neighbor Myndi Eilert is helping the family and made reservations for them at a nearby hotel. A "GoFundMe" page has been setup in the family's name.

Click here if you are interested in helping:

As for the Wards, they are encouraging fellow candle lovers to be careful.

"Get something that smells nice and use that instead of a candle," Ward said.