COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — A man whose home went up in flames around 1 a.m. Monday said despite the devastation that came with losing so many years of memories and renovations, he made it out with what matters most — his family.
Dale Morgan spent years cultivating his home on Deerwood Drive in the Colonial Heights community. On Monday morning, he woke up to an explosion when a propane tank caught fire.
“They did say it was the grill that’s knocked over was the reason,” Morgan said.
Morgan lives in the home with his two teenage daughters and their family dog. At the time of the fire, Morgan and one of his daughters were home with the dog. He described how the moment he realized what was happening, he didn’t even think about the material objects burning around him, or his newly renovated home being engulfed in flames.
“Just worried about my daughter, that’s all I was worried about, everything else is material,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s next-door neighbor Marvin Hogue also felt the impacts of the fire. The siding of his home melted against the heat from the flames, too. Hogue described what happened as “devastating,” and added how big a heart his neighbor has. Hogue offered to let Morgan and his family temporarily reside in a vacant home he owns a few blocks away.
“He’s trying to raise two teenage daughters by himself,” Hogue said. “To have this happen is just devastating, but he’s a strong person. He’s taking it in a stride.”
Morgan emphasized how grateful he is for the support from both the community and the local fire department. He told 8News how when his daughter needed shoes — as the family watched the chaos from their front lawn — the firefighters ran in to grab her a pair of Crocs.
“They were just there for us, not just putting out the fire, but emotionally,” Morgan said.