POTOMAC FALLS, Va. (WJLA) - It’s the second time that Tom Cooney gets to survey the damage since the fire. The house is so burned that it’s hard to tell what it used to be.
"The restoration team that went in there said everything is a loss. Everything is burned out," Cooney explained.
We were there with him to observe the damage inside the home that his father-in-law built with his own hands decades ago.
"Can't really tell where there was a refrigerator anymore, or a stove. It all melted away," he said.
On Saturday night, he and his family were in D.C. before coming home to a terrible fire.
"Never see so many fire trucks," he said. "A short from an old wiring. That's what caused it."
The Cooneys say losing their home is tough -- but what's worse is losing the family mementos that can never be replaced: pictures, records, and computers are all gone, just days before Christmas. Even this drop-leaf dining table that belonged to his newlywed parents is burned.
"It's hard to connect with what you're seeing and what has occurred. I see new things each time that are gone," said Cooney.
Now, a community is stepping in to help. A local boy scout troop has started an account to help the Cooneys.
Cooney is a longtime member of the Boy Scouts – he was a Cub Scout and an Eagle Scout, and is now a Merit Badge Counselor.
'It's very touching -- especially [because] a lot of them are little fellows and they're out here trying to help."
It’s a good start for what will be a long road for this family.