AUGUSTA COUNTY, VA (WHSV) -- Townhouses that went up in flames just days ago have already been bulldozed as the owners work to rebuild.
Aaron Campbell, one of the tenants who used to live in one of the burned-down houses, said he was surprised when returned over the weekend to look for his belongings. He said no one told him the rebuilding process would move ahead so quickly.
Campbell and his fiance escaped the fire on March 23 with little more than the clothes on their backs. Personal ID's and credit cards were all lost in the fire.
"We had all that stuff in files, and they were all together in a safe place in a metal file cabinet. That no longer exists," he explained. Campbell said no one told him they'd be tearing the house down so quickly.
The owner of the homes, Hillside Property Management, said they had to move forward because the buildings were not safe.
Explaining the loss hasn't been easy for neighbors either.
"Our kids are having a hard time. They're five and seven," shared April Cale Smith. She lost her home too. She said her kids are uneasy having escaped the flames.
"My oldest keeps asking me to turn out the lights so we don't have a fire," she continued.
While the building owners said some personal belongings were found in the debris before demolition, a lot of what was lost here is gone for good, which has taught those living here a good lesson.
"Just having a Ziplock bag or something with all those important documents so you're not necessarily starting from zero," added Campbell.
Even if the homes are rebuilt, Campbell and his fiance say they probably will look to live somewhere else in the future.
"We're just not sure if we'd be able to drive past that every single day,” he concluded.
A representative of of the town homes says she expects everything to be rebuilt in about four months.
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