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Family 'blessed' despite losing second home in five years to fire

Posted at 8:46 AM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 09:07:31-05

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. -- In the smoldering remains of their Amelia County home, the Hutchins family is trying to come to grips with their devastating loss.

This is the second home the family has lost to a fire in the past five years.

In 2016, an electrical fire destroyed Albert and Lisa Hutchins' home. They bought another house a short time later on Genito Road, where they lived with their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

"I fell down on my knees and started crying because this is the second time and I don't know how much more I can handle," says Albert Hutchins.

On Christmas Eve afternoon, most of the family was out shopping while Stormie Hutchins says she stayed at home to rest with her young children.

"Something just kept telling me to get up and go into the hall," Stormie Hutchins says. "That's when there was just smoke everywhere and I went into their room (Lisa and Albert's) and there were flames and nothing but smoke."

Hutchins says she was able to make it out safely with her two children, but was unable to rescue a family dog who hid inside the house.

The cremated remains of Lisa Hutchin's late mother and brother were also inside the home, and have not been located since the fire.

"It's like every time you get up the ladder, something else is going to knock you right down," says Lisa Hutchins. "But I feel blessed because my grandbabies are here and my soon-to-be daugher in law is alive."

The family says they're also fortunate that so many friends and neighbors in Amelia, including many from the Minnonite community, have helped them find temporary shelter at a motel and clothing.

"The people here in Amelia, they've stepped up their A game 200%," says Albert Hutchins.

"Some of these people don't even know us and I'm sure they're struggling too," adds Lisa Hutchins. "Lots of people have lost their jobs but they're still helping."

The family says they're searching for a four bedroom home or apartment to rent while they rebuild their home or purchase a modular home for the property. Their insurance company has agreed to pay for rental charges.

While the Hutchins family says they're facing stressful times ahead, they're grateful their family is safe and has shelter.

"My house is gone, all my material things are gone," says Albert Hutchins. "But this is what matters right here, I've got my family."

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family.