West Richland Family Returns to Burned Home
West Richland, Wash. -- A family tries to cope with the loss of their home. Wednesday, the Leggett family returned to the charred remains of their three-story house which sits on the back of Flat Top Hill in West Richland.
Ben and Kari Leggett are well-known members of the West Richland community. Ben has worked as a music teacher in the Richland School District for 16 years. Friends say their home on Astoria Road was often a place where students and friends came together.
Ben Leggett says, "As I was coming up the hill you could see the smoke. It's quite a special feeling to see smoke billowing from the roof of your house."
Many of the Leggett families most valuable posessions gone with the fire. Leggett says, "We had a grand piano that my wife and I had bought early in our marriage. That instrument is ruined."
Burned violins and other instruments also sat in the Leggett front yard, a testament to the families connection to music.
Firefighters say they believe the fire started in the living room in a wood stove and at first there was little they could do to stop it.
Training Officer Ed Dunbar says, "It had travelled to such an extent we couldn't catch it."
As Ben and Kari sorted through their surviving posessions. They said while a lot is lost, they are finding strength in their community.
Leggett says, "That was the emotional part, not the house burning down but that people that love me and that I love came to see us. That was the emotional part."