Norfolk house fire leaves family of five, including prematurely born baby, without home


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A family of five is working to pick up the pieces after their house caught fire Friday afternoon.

Fire officials said the call help came from Benjamin Avenue around 2:30 p.m. No one was hurt, but the family lost everything.

10 On Your Side met with them Sunday evening as they sifted through what’s left of their belongings. What wasn’t turned to ash in the fire, was covered in layers of it.

They’ve since found a hotel to stay in until a better housing situation comes available, but it’s not ideal for more reasons than one.

The main reason being their newest family member – Ella Marie.

The three-month-old was born prematurely with several health conditions. Rebecca Mayne and Thomas Landriault say Ella Marie was born with one working lung and a hole in her heart.

From medication to baby monitors, they lost a majority of what they need to care for her.

Another reason hotel living isn’t ideal, considers their extended family member – a young Pitbull.

After rushing her kids from the burning home, Rebecca ran inside and pulled their family dog from the smoky garage. She recalls having to army crawl on the floor just get a feel for where he was. When she found him, Mayne was able to “toss” the whimpering, eighty-pound Pitbull out the nearest door.

She credits her “mama-bear strength” for the life-saving effort.

Although no one was hurt, the family is still hurting. Rebecca and Thomas don’t have words yet to explain how grateful they are for neighbors that immediately stepped in and provided whatever they could.

There are several verified GoFundMe‘s set up for the family.

They’re also accepting clothing donations and any baby supplies for young Ella Marie. Sizing information can be found here.

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