WASHINGTON -- A fund has been set up to help defray the funeral costs for a Stafford County family whose 6-month-old daughter died in a house fire Monday.
The fund will help with the burial costs for Eleanor Mae Avery and will helping the Avery family rebuild.
Eleanor was the youngest of Dirk and Naomi Avery's five children. The other kids are between the ages of 4 and 11, Fredericksburg.com reports.
The family lost everything in the blaze, according to a post on the Avery Family Fire Relief Facebook page:
"Yesterday afternoon, Dirk and Naomi Avery's house caught on fire and it quickly spread burning the house to the foundation. Due to living in rural Virginia, it requires time for the fire department to arrive and sadly by the time they were able to begin putting out the fire, the fire had consumed most of the house. Everything has been lost and those who were at home managed to escape with only the clothes on their back. The biggest tragedy being they were unable to save their youngest daughter Eleanor who perished in the fire. Also lost in the fire was their labra doodle Strider who had remained in the home with the baby. Fortunately their four other children are unharmed, but all their photographs, baby memorabilia and children's keepsakes are gone. Although insignificant in comparison to the loss they have sustained, both their cars were destroyed; all the children's toys, books, movies and clothes have been lost. Local collection efforts have been amazing and the family has been fortunate enough to have clothes donated for the children, but the process of rebuilding their home and their lives will take time and money. Insurance will only cover so much, so should you feel that you are in a position to help Dirk and Naomi with a small financial donation to help them with the items they will need down the road please donate whatever you can. Thank you!"
The page offers a link to a PayPal account and says condolence cards or checks can be sent to the following address:
Avery Family Relief Fund
c/o The Turley Family
154 Mountain Laurel Court
Fredericksburg, VA 22406
In kind donations are being coordinated by Mike Cesar at 801-440-4511.
"This was a tragic accident that has devastated the family and the entire community," said Fire Chief Mark Lockhart and Sheriff Charles Jett, in a news release confirming the child's identity.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family in this very difficult time," they said.
The fire on King Daniels Way in the Kings Grant subdivision Monday afternoon started near the front of the home and caused $650,000 in damages. Investigators ruled it an unintentional fire.
Naomi Avery tried to get back into the home to rescue her daughter, but couldn't because of the fire's severity, the news release says.
When firefighters arrived on the scene and learned the child was still inside, they also could not rescue her because of excessive heat, fire conditions and a structural collapse.
The cause of Eleanor Avery's death was "acute thermal and inhalation injury," according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Tuesday
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