Fire Destorys Almost Ten Years Of Family Mementos

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ELKINS (KFSM) -- The Woodward family took their four children to the remains of their home Wednesday afternoon for the first time since a fire destroyed it and everything inside.

Kotie and Matthew Woodward rented the home for almost a year and a half.

No one was there when it started Sunday night, but both rushed home when they received phone calls about what happened.

Matthew said all he could think about were these three questions.

“What were we going to do?" Matthew Woodward asked. "Where was I going to take us to, where we could stay at? What were we going to wear?”

The fire was put out that night and the family said they were hopeful they would be able to go back inside and recover things like photos of lost loved ones.

That hope crumbled the next morning when they started to receive more phone calls.

“We were called and notified by friends and neighbors that our house had collapsed at 8 a.m." Kotie Woodward said. "That it had re-caught fire and we came back out and the house was gone completely. There was no salvaging.”

She said around 10 years of mementos were gone.

Mementos that included items from Matthew's mother and Christmas ornaments from when Kotie was younger.

Matthew said they are not sure what exactly started the fire, but suspect it started near their bedroom.

The family lost everything including their 9-week-old puppy Penelope.

They have four children, the oldest of which is 8-year-old Payden Ross.

All four saw what was left of their home for the first time Wednesday afternoon and learned what happened to Penelope.

Ross said he misses her and some of his toys, but is staying positive.

“But I really am grateful to have a family, to have a great life and everything," Ross said.

Matthew said one of the tougher things is trying to explain to the other kids what happened.

He said one of his daughters keeps asking to go home instead of to their grandparents, but when he tells her what happened, she doesn't understand.

The family is staying with Kotie's mother.

Kotie said it's tough having eight people inside of their small home.

They are very thankful for all of the people who reached out over the past few days to help them with things like clothing.

Ross said he has been helping his parents sort through all the donations.

They are now working to get enough money to find another place to stay.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a family friend to help the family reach that goal.

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