NORFOLK, Va.- Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a fire that destroyed a Norfolk home and left three families with no place to live.
The home, now demolished, was deemed a total loss.
Everyone made it out safely, but a dog severely burned is still fighting for her life.
“They lost their stepfather about a year ago so we did lose a lot of his things that can’t be replaced, but we are just happy we have each other right now," said homeowner Shannon Smith.
She said the moment before firefighters were pulled out of the home, they were able to rescue her 9-month-old dog Bella, who was the only one in the apartment at the time.
“She is doing better. She is in a lot of pain. She has ten percent of her body is burned - only ten percent - but the burns are really bad. But she is a trooper which I knew she would be,” Smith said.
The vet taking caring of Bella at Bay Beach told us she is on heavy pain medication but showing progress.
They are hopeful she will make it - a small light of hope in a very dark tunnel for Smith and her family.
“I just have to be strong for my children right now because I know they need me. It’s just when you have been through so much, your skin just gets thicker so you kind of know how to get through it,” Smith said.
She says Christmas has passed but the community coming together to pay for Bella’s medical costs has been the greatest gift.
“Yesterday they called me and told me it would be $1,200 to even treat her and as soon as I made a few calls and I was helped she is taken care of," Smith said.
The mother of five, whose children range in age from 4 to 13, needs winter clothes to keep her family warm.
“Nothing was saved in that building - like nothing at all,” Smith said.