NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Diane Wallace and Courtney Sessoms are both mothers trying to put their lives back together after a fire in Norfolk in early October.
“The same way popcorn sounds in the microwave, it was a popping noise, so I look over the balcony and I see the power line hanging. There were sparks of fire coming from the power line,” Wallace recalled.
She immediately went door to door alerting neighbors.
“I was doing some laying around and she came running in the house said the house is on fire let’s go get out,” Sessoms said.
Fire officials say the heavy flames broke through the roof of the nearly 100 year old building.
“Once we got out the building, those flames hit, they kept trying to put it out but the flames wouldn’t stop,” Wallace said.
Firefighters called for an emergency demolition of the building.
No one was injured, but 18 people were displaced, including Wallace and Sessoms.
“It was like wow I thought it was going to be something simple where it gets put out, but it turned out to be a nightmare,” Sessoms said.
“We lost everything but the clothes we had on our back,” explained Wallace.
Now Wallace, mother of four, and Sessoms, mother of three, are struggling to put their lives back together because neither had renters insurance.
Wallace had to separate from her kids while they bounce between staying with family and friends and Sessoms is staying in a hotel room that’s only paid for until the end of the week.
“We really need coats. It’s getting cold out here, any kind of food donations, anything would help right now, anything,” Wallace stated.
If you’re interested in donating all the information on how you can reach them and what is needed is included in their GoFundMe pages.
Norfolk Fire officials say the cause of the fire is still being investigated.