NELSONIA, Va. (WAVY) — A charred mess is what’s left of a mobile home that caught fire Friday in Nelsonia.
That’s where three people were killed.
Police have not released the names of the victims, but family friends confirm 25-year-old Alejandra Gonzalez, her 3-year-old Sofia and her brother-in-law Wilson Escalante were the three who died.
“They were hardworking people, lovely, caring, I’ve known them for years and seen them at church every Sunday almost,” said family friend Elder Gomez.
Gomez says he got a call about the fire on Friday.
“So I went to their home cause I knew where they lived at and confirmed that it was in fact them,” Gomez said.
Gomez says he was sad to hear the fire is now being investigated as an arson and homicide.
State police say the preliminary examination done by the medical examiner shows other injuries inconsistent with a fire.
“That it is even more shocking to hear,” he said.
Gomez says other family members lived in the home, but weren’t there at the time of the fire.
Gomez says he wants to do anything he can to help and is now raising funds to go toward funeral expenses.
“We hope everyone that is able to help can help with the costs of the funeral and go toward the cost of the funeral, shelter and food, anything that they need right now, they’re pretty much homeless,” Gomez said.
Other family friends were out at the home on Monday.
One woman says she came from North Carolina to take in one of the family’s dogs.
Gomez says the family is trying to find homes for their other dogs as well.
If you would like to donate to the family, you can here: https://www.gofundme.com/OrtizFamilyHouseFire