Winchester family displaced by house fire uplifted by community kindness

Published 11:02 am Thursday, March 16, 2023

One Winchester has been showered by community kindness after suffering the loss of their home due to a house fire last Saturday

Hilary Thomas and Zack Pritchard, and their three children – Hudson (5), Hunter Claire (4), and Jett (six months) – began their morning as any family might.

While Thomas had recently left home with her daughter and youngest son to attend a ballet class, Pritchard had just left home to get a part for a car.

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“Before he got back to the house, somebody called he said our house was on fire,” said Thomas. “He got the dog out of the kennel out front and saved him for us.”

Thankfully, the family’s older son – Hudson – was also unharmed.

By the time Pritchard arrived, the fire department was already at work.

However, the blaze had done much damage.

“Everything was pretty much gone. The house was just barely standing,” Thomas added. “The garage was totally gone.”

While there has been speculation about the cause of the incident, an investigation is still ongoing.

Following the tragedy, the couple and their children needed to take follow-up steps.

“We didn’t really know what our next steps [were] going to be,” Thomas said. “Whenever we first got together, we had absolutely nothing. Immediately, we were really confused we just got together and sorted some things out.”

While they look to recover, the family eventually settled in with Pritchard’s parents.

When word got out, a GoFundMe page was set up online with an initial goal of raising $5,000.

As of Thursday afternoon, approximately $9,500 – almost twice as much – had been donated.

The page’s name is “Donation for the Pritchard Family.”

Those interested can find the link at

The family would like to thank the community for their support.

“We can’t really thank everybody enough. We don’t even really know what to do and what to say,” Thomas said. “It’s just so nice that everybody’s [come] together. We can’t believe it. We would do the same for anybody if they were in our situation as well.”

While much is left to be known for the future, the family would like to prioritize their children’s needs.

“Right now, I don’t think we have quite the plan in place. We’re just looking to see what they say and go from there,” Thomas said. “We’re [going to] try to at least replace everything our kids lost. I know they’re missing a few of their favorite toys and clothes.”