2017-02-01 / For The Record

Family pets perish in fire

By Diana Royal

A local family is mourning the loss of their dogs after a fire ripped through their home last Friday afternoon.

According to EMA spokesperson Amylia Lester, Burke County EMA responded to the Keysville residence just before 2 p.m. and the home was fully involved when units arrived.

Lester said four engine companies, two EMS units and the duty chief responded (11 total personnel) and that they were on the scene for just under four hours. She identified the cause of the fire as unattended cooking.

Homeowners Henry and Tara Flake are just now sifting through the remains, which isn’t much aside from some cast iron pots and pans. The couple says the hardest part has been the loss of their four dogs, Bru, Sammi Jo, Andy and Rocky, who piled in the bed with their owners every night. “They were our children,” Tara said. “Our house and most of the things in it can be replaced. Nothing can bring back our babies.”

Henry added that the outpour of love and support from the community has been overwhelming. “We never knew how big our circle really was until this weekend,” he said. “We are beyond thankful.”

HOW TO HELP

A fund has been set up at First National Bank of Waynesboro under the name “Heather Harkins/Special Account for Flakes.” Friends of the family are also gathering clothing and household items to help the couple get back on their feet. For more information, call Hannah Kloskey at 706.860.6527 or Diana Royal at 706.962.2033.

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