TROUTVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) Neighbors opened a fundraising account for the victims of a fatal weekend fire Tuesday morning, and hours later there were already donations for the Secrist family.
"The entire Buchanan community and the residents of Lithia, we are just so heartbroken for the Secrist family and just the unimaginable pain that they are going through," neighbor Michelle Crook said.
Sandy Secrist was killed in the fire with her two young great-grandsons, Milo and Jasper, and the boys' parents are still in the hospital. Money donated will help pay for medical bills.
Michelle Crook grew up with the Secrist family, and she still sees them at church.
"The family, they're of incredibly strong faith," Crook said. "They know that God is with them through this time, but still the pain was just very visible. [It's] very sad to see a family in that much pain and suffer that much tragedy."
It's a huge tragedy for a tightknit community. She says the whole Lithia community is trying to learn from what happened.
"I know for a lot of people, we are checking our smoke detectors, and it's an eye-opener. It's just awareness that this tragedy could happen to anyone," Crook said
If you'd like to donate, visit any Bank of Botetourt branch and mention the Buchanan fire or the Secrist family.
Checks can also be mailed to:
Bank of Botetourt
Attn: Michelle Crook
P.O. Box 615
Troutville, VA 24175
Please write "Secrist Family Fund" in the memo line.