It was a terrifying weekend for a Winchester family when an early morning fire destroyed their home.
It happened on Steve Court around 5 a.m. Saturday when Evan and Andrea Ratliff, their three kids, and two other visiting family members woke up to flames.
“They were all still in the bed asleep, Evan said that he woke up to a really bright glow toward the front door of the house, and that’s when he jumped up to see what was going on because he didn’t know,” family member Shaundra Scalf said. “There was no fire alarm going off, and when he jumped up to see what was going on that’s when he saw the whole front of the house on fire.”
All seven people made it out of the home, Evan and his two daughters suffered some burns, but the family pets died in the house fire.
“They lost everything that they have,” Scalf said. “They lost their home, all of their vehicles, all of their personal belongings, they lost their dog, their cat, they lost everything in their home.”
It’s the acts of kindness from family, friends, and even strangers that are getting the Ratliff’s through the struggle, like the local fire department taking the time to bury their dog Cooper in the backyard.
“It goes to say, here in Winchester, the extra steps or the extra care that the fire department took, that’s not part of their job but they did extra just for the family,” family friend Rebecca Miller said.
And, countless more people are donating to a GoFundMe account in hopes of helping the family when they’re ready to start over.
“As of right now, they’re taking in everyone’s donations and they’re just so humbled by it,” Miller said. “We’re just waiting to hear back from insurance companies and waiting to see what to do next.”
Family members told us the fire started at the front of the house, but the cause is under investigation.
If you want to donate to the family, you can click here for the GoFundMe account or send money via PayPal to email@example.com