Nellie and Adolf Neumann

Retired US Capitol Tour Guide Loses Fairfax County Home in Fire

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A Virginia woman who’s spent more than two decades introducing countless visitors the U.S. Capitol recently lost her home to a fire, and now the community is rallying to help her.

Nellie Neumann, a tour guide at the U.S. Capitol, and her husband, Adolf, woke up a month ago to fire ripping through their Fairfax County home.

"I got to the door and I reached out and grabbed the knob and turned it, but I couldn't get the door open, and the thought crossed my mind, ‘We're trapped; we're going to die here," she said.

“So that's when I reached out and grabbed her arm and we pulled her outside and then, I was in my underwear. That's what I had," Adolf said.

With only the clothes on their backs, they thought they'd lost everything.

It's really overwhelming and just very humbling to think anyone would make the effort to want to help us the way they have.

Nellie Neumann

"Just the thought that she didn't have anything is what made me think we have to do something," said Adriane Norman, who worked with Nellie as tour guides in the Capitol.

“She and I actually helped to evacuate the Capitol on 9/11,” Nellie said.

"I couldn't have been with a better person,” Norman said. “I fell apart. Nellie kept it together, and as a result, kind of helped me to calm down."

Now she and others are raising money for the Neumanns to get them back on their feet.

“It's really overwhelming and just very humbling to think anyone would make the effort to want to help us the way they have," Nellie said.

Nellie retired from giving Capitol tours but plans on volunteering there again when the Capitol reopens to visitors.

Friends of the Neumanns have set up a GoFundMe to help the couple.

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