Retired firefighter needs help after losing home in deadly fire: 'I want to get back in the house'

Posted at 5:08 PM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-13 11:11:20-04

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. -- Kenny Wright spent nearly three decades in a career trying to help others. He was a first responder who, as a Chesterfield County firefighter, headed toward burning buildings instead of away from them. Now, Wright says he understands firsthand what it's like to be on the other side.

"I guess every kid wants to be a firefighter," Wright, who served as a Chesterfield County firefighter for 29 years until he retired in 2011, said.

Thirteen years later, on March 11, Wright became a fire victim. A longtime diabetic, Wright was in St. Francis Hospital being treated for a foot injury when his Amelia County home caught fire.

Poster image - 2024-04-12T164650.713.jpg
Poster image - 2024-04-12T164911.947.jpg

"As a firefighter, you have empathy for the people who lose homes and family but, they say you can't understand someone until you walk in their shoes, so it's definitely different to be in that position," he said.

At the time of the fire, Wright had a roommate living in the home. She was unable to escape the fire.

"She had no place to live, so I was trying to help her relocate to Virginia," Wright said.

In addition to his roommate, he also lost six pets in the fire.

Poster image - 2024-04-12T165324.333.jpg

Since getting out of the hospital, Wright has been in a rehab facility. But when it's time to leave, he won't have any place to go.

"I want to get back in that house," Wright said.

Living on a fixed income, Wright says he has no idea if insurance will help him. Several of his friends, all former firefighters, are trying to help him find a place to stay on the budget he has.

A tough spot indeed for a first responder who is used to helping and not being the one who needs help.

"I've been calling apartments in the area to just get on a waiting list as a temporary solution," Wright said.

You can donate to help Kenny Wright directly through this GoFundMe.

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.