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Infant Dies in Fire, Local Collection Efforts Underway to Help Family

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Eleanor Mae Avery died in a house fire in Stafford County on Monday.

The 6-month-old girl became trapped inside of her burning home in the Kings Grant subdivision in Hartwood.

“Despite efforts to gain entrance into the residence the mother was unable to rescue the child due to the severity of the fire,” stated Stafford fire and rescue spokesman Mark Doyle in a press release.

Flames destroyed the single family home that housed two adults and five children. It is a property loss of $650,000, according to a Stafford County fire marshal’s estimate.

The county’s sheriff’s office took over the investigation into the fire and noted that autopsy reports conclude the child’s death was fire related.

A Facebook page has been set up in a relief effort to assist the family. Here is the message posted to that page that describes the family’s loss:

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!

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