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Susan Brann of Aldie, Va., recounts fire that destroyed home after other family tragedies including husband Robert's death

6:41 PM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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ALDIE, Va. (WUSA) - The reconstruction of a home in Aldie, Virginia begins with pain and tragedy.

"The back windows started popping out," according to Susan Brann, who explained what started the fire that consumed her house, and nearly herself.

"I heard a shhhhhh sound, but knew not to open the grill," she said. Her propane grill made by Blue Embers malfunctioned and exploded, Brann said.

Thankfully, she was already back in the house when the grill blew up and was tossed 100 yards into a field. She doesn't remember getting her two kids and three friends and a dog out from the basement, but they all made it to safety.

The fire was so intense that the home could not be saved. The only thing they wish they had saved were pictures of their husband and father.

The Brann family had been through tragedy before: in 2009 Robert Brann, Susan's husband, died of a massive heart attack right in front of their son Austin who was 10 at the time. He ran for help but it was too late.

After Robert's death, both grandmothers passed during the next two years.
Then in July of last year, the fire took their house.

But since then, the community has wrapped its arms around the family. providing continuous support. One friend set up a Facebook page which raised $15,000 in donations from people all over the country.

The Branns learned that with love and support, you can get through even the darkest days