The fire happened on Frizzell Avenue just after 6 p.m. Firefighters arrived on scene four minutes later. Virginia Beach crews joined Norfolk firefighters to help get the flames under control.
"The smoke was terrible. It was just rolling in a circle," said Betty Holloman, who was home at the time. "It was black and it was coming across the ceiling."
Fortunately, everyone made it out, but the house had special significance for the family. Holloman's late husband bought it more than a decade ago. He died a year later.
"Everything I've got is in there," she said.
Before moving here, the family rented a home in Virginia Beach.
"This was the only thing he was really ever able to do for us," said Angela Holloman, Betty's daughter. "Now it's gone."
The fire was under control by 6:39 p.m. "We really couldn't do nothing," said Angela. "We were helpless."
The family say their belongings are gone. "I see this on the news at Christmas ever year and I never thought that it would be us really ," said Angela.
The Red Cross is now helping the family.
The cause of the fire is now under investigation.