It may be one of the worst years imaginable for the Graham family of Washington state.

On Labor Day, a raging wildfire destroyed their home in Malden, about 37 miles south of Spokane. Days later, all seven members of the family – parents and five kids -- tested positive for the coronavirus.

They likely caught the virus while staying with relatives because of the loss of their home, Matthew Graham, the father, told Q13 FOX of Seattle.

“Before our house burned down we were being really cautious about not being in groups of people and always having the kids in face masks and keeping our distance from everyone,” he said.


His wife, Jessica Graham, said the family’s need for support and comfort after being displaced may have caused them to let their guard down regarding the virus, which has killed nearly 207,000 Americans as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.

“I feel like you really just crave being around other people because that’s really all you have left at that point you’ve lost everything,” she said.

Fortunately, the five children had only mild symptoms – but the mother and father got hit hard, Q13 FOX reported.

“It’s just like hitting a brick wall with this overwhelming exhaustion,” Jessica Graham told the station.

“I’m not feeling that great right now but I can sit up all day, which is a huge improvement because before I couldn’t hold my head up for that long because I was just so exhausted,” Matthew Graham said.

The family is currently quarantined in a hotel room as they wait for their symptoms to subside. The couple said they were feeling thankful that they had fire insurance on their home to help them rebuild when they are feeling better.


Throughout their ordeal, the family has tried to focus on the fact that, luckily, most of their problems will likely be temporary, Matthew Graham said.

“This will be a year that we look back on,” he told Q13 FOX, “and we’ll all probably be vastly stronger people for it.”