VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Flames destroyed a home in Virginia Beach over the weekend, leaving the person renting the home with nothing.
Jeannine Leak is the woman who was living there at the time. She says she feels like she is out of options.
The house fire happened around 10:40 p.m. Saturday in the 5700 block of Brandon Boulevard in Virginia Beach.
“So, on Saturday night, I was on my couch and stood up to go and grab my cell phone. And that’s when I saw that my porch was on fire,” she said.
And it wasn’t before long before the entire back portion of Leak’s house was engulfed in flames.
“It was just it all happened so fast. It was just it was terrifying,” she explained.
Leak and her beloved dog made it out OK, but most of her belongings were not as lucky.
“I’m very grateful but just stressed out. I probably lost about 40% of my belongings, mostly clothing and soft items,” she said.
The morning and days following have been just as hard or harder for Leak because, although the American Red Cross is assisting her, there is one thing she regrets and offers advice on.
“I let my renter’s insurance policy expire. So, don’t make my mistake. Definitely stay on top of your renter’s insurance policy,” she said.
The fire department ruled the cause was improperly disposing of fireplace ash.
When Leak looks at her house, she is reminded that she’s lost a place to live and her peace of mind, but she is also grateful to be alive.
“I’m just thankful for, just really thankful for. It is very emotional for you. It’s hard. It’s hard. But I’m going to get through it. We made it out fine. We made it out with most of the things that are near and dear to me intact,” she said with tears in her eyes.