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MILTON — One family had to say goodbye to their longtime home late Tuesday morning when everything was destroyed by a fire.

Thomas “T.L.” Eves Jr., 51, lived in the Milton home on Cooper’s Ridge Road for 26 years before flames destroyed memories of almost three decades. His wife, Leila, lived in the home with him.

Eves raised two daughters in the home.

“He (Eves) lost everything he worked so hard for. The house is a total loss,” Jess Haven, 28, of Barboursville, said about her childhood home. “It was very hard to see a home you made so many memories in be totally engulfed. Shock is setting in; we are all feeling numb at this time.”

While digging through the ashes, Haven was able to save one partially damaged memory: a framed collage she and her sister gave their father on a past Father’s Day.

“It doesn’t feel real yet. I’m glad I was able to find a past Father’s Day gift we gave to my dad,” Haven said about her mission to find something to keep after the fire, “just so he still has one tangible memory.”

Almost half of the frame is covered in ashes, but it still shows dozens of photos of the family — from swimming to baby photos and images of other close family members — and notes from the two daughters.

Local fire departments assisted in putting out the fire, including the Milton Volunteer Fire Department, Culloden Volunteer Fire Department and Ona Volunteer Fire Department.

According to the Milton VFD, no one was at the home during the fire and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is undetermined but was reported as not being suspicious.

“We are thankful no one was inside and so appreciative for all the fire departments who didn’t hesitate to respond when the call came out,” Haven said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family at https://gofund.me/b43a9359.

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