Raleigh County family's home burns down; Still happy to be alive - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Raleigh County family's home burns down; Still happy to be alive

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20 people including children and elderly are without a home Thursday night in Raleigh County.

Around 1 a.m. an apartment building went up in flames in Glen Daniel,  just one hour after a day of joy and giving.

59News spoke with the families who feel lucky to be alive tonight. Miraculously none of the almost 20 people inside were harmed. Eric Trail's family of 5 was asleep when the fire began.

He described in detail the Christmas night they'll never forget.

"We were laying down, we had just went to bed when my brother-in-law came from upstairs and told us he smelled smoke and that our apartment was on fire. We grabbed our kids and started getting them out. When we got outside you could see the fire and smell the smoke even more. We tried to get what we could out of the house," said Trail.

He watched his family's house burn down just hours after his children opened their Christmas presents.

"That's the roughest part is having your kids Christmas presents inside and not having any control over it and watching it all burn. It's a feeling of helplessness. There's no way of getting to them, it just burns down around them," he told us.

Even though Trail's 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter don't have any new gifts to play with this year, they know that what happened last night could have been a lot worse.

"How happy are you that you guys made it out safely? So happy. I'm happy. Do you feel lucky to be alive? Yes," said Phoenix and Jaiden Trail.

Eric and his family are staying at a house just up the street, he told 59News he feels blessed to have neighbors who open their doors to them.

"It's a blessing to have people like that, there's not many people like them left in the world. They actually came down last night and helped us get everything we still could," Eric said.

To donate to the families, call David Hibbard at (304) 934-0530.