Donation page created for family who lost home, pets

UPDATE:WUSA9's Surae Chinn caught up with the family on Wednesday. She will have a story with them at 5:30 p.m. on WUSA9.

STERLING, Va. (WUSA9) -- A donation page has been created for family members who lost a home and their pets after an accidental fire in Sterling on Monday.

The fire broke out at the family's house in the 900 block of West Maple Avenue at approximately 6:15 p.m. Monday, according to fire officials. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office has determined that the fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials on the porch.

Fire crews from Sterling Park, Cascades, Fairfax County, Moorefield, Ashburn, Lansdowne, Leesburg and Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority responded to the fire. Officials say the fire spread to the electrical and natural gas lines within the home, which made it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the fire. The utilities were secured and the fire was brought under control, say officials.

The home, however, was completely destroyed, say officials. The home next door also suffered damage. In total, the fire resulted in approximately $350,000 worth of damage.

Family members were able to make it out of the home safely and the American Red Cross was contacted to help them, say officials. A visiting family member was transported to Inova Loudoun Hospital initially and then transferred to Georgetown University Hospital.

On Wednesday, we learned more about the family. According to a GoFundMe page, "The Simms family lost their home and family pets on 03/24/14 in a tragic house fire in Sterling, VA. Matt, Tina, and their 2 kids Raegan age 13 and Ryan age 7 are all Little People. Also living in the home was Tina's mom Virgie.Their home was modified to accommodate their short stature. So not only did they lose everything, they also lost a sense of their independence."

According to the page's creator, Susan Scott, clothing and gift cards for food are needed in addition to money. As of 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, more than $6,000 had been raised for the family.

Tina Simms has expressed her gratitude for the support so far in a message on the page. She wrote: "Omg I just logged in and saw the amazing donations words and tears can't express how thankful we all are for your help."

If you want to donate, you can visit:

Officials say several pets died in the fire. Scott tells us the family had 5 chihuahuas and three cats. One of their cats was found by a neighbor Tuesday night.

We're told one of the family dogs might of gotten out of the house and the family is searching for it. One of them was spotted in a neighbor's yard, according to Scott.

The family provided a photo of two dogs.

The tan chihuahua is Simon and the black chihuahua is Bella. They are hoping someone will recognize them and that they will be reunited with at least one of the dogs.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment