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Teachers and firefighter step in to help family after fire destroys home

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A local family was devastated by an apartment fire just days before Christmas, and now a Richmond school and a first responder have stepped in to help the family get back on their feet.

Joyce Simpson, her 17-year-old daughter Crystal and her 6-year-old son Galvin, were displaced after an early morning apartment fire in her kitchen on December 22.

"The stove was on fire," Simpson said.

Joyce Simpson

Joyce Simpson

Although she lost her apartment, she hasn’t lost her faith.

Simpson said after the fire, she contacted her son’s first-grade teacher at Patrick Henry Charter School to let her know what happened.

"Bless her heart,” Simpson said. “She just took it from there and she’s been on top of it ever since."

Simpson said Ms. Stacey Nisenson created a Crowd Rise fundraising page. So far people have donated almost $2,000. If you would like to donate to their page, click here.

The money will ensure the family has place to lay their heads, until they can determine the next steps to take to put their lives back in order.

Galvin

Galvin

Thanks to Ms. Nisenson, Patrick Henry Charter School principal, Dr. Eileen Atkinson, and the Red Cross, Simpson and her family are staying in a local hotel.

"I've seen the blessings," Simpson said.

But that’s not all.

The Simpson family also received Christmas gifts from a local firefighter.

"He said, ‘I got the Christmas presents up, so the children can still have a Christmas.’ I said thank you, it’s okay, it's really not about things... it's just that everybody's life was saved,” Simpson added.

Patrick Henry Charter School principal, Dr. Atkinson released a statement about the school’s efforts to help little Galvin and the Simpson family.

The Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts community is a small but very close family. When one family or child is in need, everyone wants to do as much as they can to help. We are extremely grateful for the donations that have been made thus far and we are appreciative for any additional assistance that this family may receive.