RICHMOND, Va. – A South Richmond family of eight are devastated after losing everything in a late-night house fire Tuesday, only days before Christmas.
"It was just chaos…everybody running around," said Marcus Turner, describing the scene around 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Marcus was in the kitchen when he heard a noise coming from the utility room. When he looked around and saw flames quickly spreading.
During the tense moments, Marcus said he tried to grab some household items to throw and get the flames out the home.
“The more and more I grabbed stuff… it just got bigger," he said.
"My nephew came in the kitchen and he saw it. He tried to help me, but I knew he couldn't put it out,” said Marcus. “I yelled to him… ‘Get out of the house.’ That's when he ran through the house yelling at everybody else to try and get them out."
Alinda Turner said the entire rear of the home was in flames.
"The only thing I could think of was to get him my fiancé out because he's in a wheelchair," she said.
Alinda says they all ran out the front door, but they didn’t see Marcus.
"Then, once we got out…we could not find him. He stayed in the house and the flames and the smoke was taking over the house so bad… we were scared he didn't get out," she said.
Moments later, Marcus jumped through the fire and landed in the backyard.
"If we were sleep, we wouldn't have made it out," said Marcus.
The fire destroyed the home in a matter of minutes, killing a family pet.
It took Richmond Fire crews about 20 minutes to bring the fire on Logandale Avenue under control.
"We had just finished Christmas shopping. So, we lost everything that we got for the kids," said Alinda.
Investigators say some clothing near the hot water heater ignited the flames and there were no working smoke detectors inside of the home.
"We just need all the help we can get. We literally came out with our life and what we had on our back," said Alinda.
The Red Cross is assisting the family right, including two children.
If you would like to help the displaced family, they have set up a GoFundMe page to help them recover.