Good Neighbors Help Family Recover From House Fire In Augusta County

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

Good neighbors at Fort Defiance High School are helping a family recover from a house fire that burned their house last week in Augusta County.

Students at the high school have raised $1,500 for the Thomas family who lost their home in the fire.

They've also received donations of money, food and clothing.

Branden Thomas, a sophomore at the high school, is passionate about playing music and lost music equipment like amplifiers and guitars in the fire.

Good neighbors have donated music equipment to help him return to his passion of playing music.

"It feels better knowing I can just go home and pick up a guitar and play for a little bit," Thomas said.

Thomas's band teacher, Claire Leeper, said music can help people like Thomas recover from the devastation the fire caused.

"Music is just such a healing art, and it's a language that everyone speaks and that everyone understands," Leeper said. "For them to still be able to participate in their passion is really incredible."

Thomas said playing his new guitar has helped him cope with the fire.

"Just being able to pick up a guitar and play, it makes me feel a little more normal in all the crazy circumstances that have been happening," Thomas said.

That's all thanks to good neighbors helping each other when they need it most.

"It really shows how many people cared that I didn't even know cared before," Thomas said.

The house isn't safe to live in, but the family does have a roof over their heads thanks to more good neighbors.

Augusta County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Mike Armstrong said the fire started in the basement and the cause is electrical in nature. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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