A Longview Army veteran and his family are devastated, after they lost their home – and all of their belongings – in a fire Sunday afternoon.

Brandon and Shanice Lovato and their three little kids just moved into their home on Talkeetna Heights Road in August to be closer to family. Brandon just got out of the Army in March after serving for six years and on two tours to Afghanistan.

The Lovato’s had just settled into their home and hosted family there for Thanksgiving.

Cowlitz County fire investigators believe that may have been the problem.

They say some furniture may have been moved in the process and a space heater was left too close to furniture. Investigators believe the heater caught the couch on fire and the flames spread through the rest of the home.

The home and its contents are valued at more than $100,000.

Now, the Lovato’s and their kids – 8-year-old Courtney, 4-year-old Bailey and 1-year-old Kailey – are left with virtually nothing.

“I’m just glad we weren’t sleeping or home when it happened,” Shanice told Fox 12.

On Sunday, Brandon returned home a little before 5:00 p.m. to find an orange glow coming from the house. He hoped the fire was small enough he could put it out himself, but it was too late.

“As soon as I opened the door the entire living room was engulfed in flames,” Brandon recalled.

Blankets, toys, furniture – even Christmas presents – were lost. Other sentimental items like photos, Brandon’s military uniform and Shanice’s wedding dress were also damaged or destroyed.

They’re thankful everyone is okay, but now the family is heading into the holidays wondering where they’ll go and whether they can rebuild.

They met with an insurance adjustor Tuesday, but for now they’re staying in a hotel.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.



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