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Community rallies around family who lost home in fire before holiday season

Colonial Heights community rallies around family who lost home before holiday season
Posted at 4:59 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 21:50:57-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- One community is coming together to help a family who lost everything in a weekend house fire in Colonial Heights.

Glorimar Caban was out Christmas shopping with her daughter when she received a frantic call from her husband.

"Screaming, saying come home. The house is burning," Caban said.

Just blocks from her home when she got the call, she rushed home. She shortly was able to understand how serious the situation was.

"It was really tough, you know. Knowing everything you built with effort, all the love you put in your home, memories, your kids growing up there, you know, in one blink of an eye, gone, losing almost everything, it's pretty hard," Caban said.

Colonial Heights community rallies around family who lost home before holiday season

Smoke filled the entirety of the Ellerslie Avenue home and water brought down the ceiling. The damage left the family losing nearly everything.

While she is not allowed inside the home, she remains tied to it following the damage.

"It's my house. I just feel safe here," Caban said.

Little did her family know, help would come their way in a bright green hoodie.

"He is like an angel," Caban said.

Like many in Colonial Heights on Saturday afternoon, Michael Vanwyck saw the smoke from the fire.

"When I passed by, the fire struck was just pulling up and the smoke was rolling out of the attic of the house and everything," Vanwyck said.

Once he saw the plumes of smoke, he knew that the family would be in need of help.

Colonial Heights community rallies around family who lost home before holiday season

"Instantly kinda put me in a situation where I knew they were going to need help right here around Christmas," Vanwyck said.

After a quick post on social media, he was off to go shopping.

"I had some people in the community reach out and CashApp me money so we did almost $800 in gift cards and $1,000 in clothes and essentials," Vanwyck said.

Anonymous donations were also dropped off at the fire station and were delivered on Monday morning.

With Christmas just weeks away, Vanwyck and understands the needs of the family.

"Plan on making sure her kids have Christmas," Vanwyck said.

"For my kids, I'll do anything. We will do anything for them. No matter how simple, how small it is, as long as I know I have something for them that day, it doesn't matter," Caban said.

Vanwyck is thanking the community for their support and is accepting donations at his shop Incredible HVAC.

Glorimar said that she's grateful for the outpouring of love from the community which goes a long way at a time like this.