JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family of four from Jacksonville were forced to seek refuge at a local hotel after a fire in the Mandarin home Tuesday night.
JFRD says the fire was started by a lightning strike and pierced the attic, making the house uninhabitable.
Peter and Marcy Watry tell Action News Jax that their family ran out of the house with their dog, Zoe, after noticing smoke from the attic.
“[Lightning] Hit the back tree and it came on the roof of our house, ”Marcy said.
Action News Jax cameras detected the aftermath of a tree struck by lightning.
“We started smelling the smoke within ten minutes,” said Peter. “And came out into the rain and saw the smoke pouring out of the roof vents.”
“I thought let’s get out of the house. We took our valuables with us, ”said Marcy. “From our purse and wallet.”
“Once we’ve smoked call 9-1-1 and get what you need. ID cards, medicine and [Zoe]! ”Said Peter.
After the fire, a gaping hole remained in the roof of the house. Charred bits of insulation covered what was left of the living room.
Action News Jax crews could hear a smoke alarm boom among the rubble after JFRD put out the fire.
The Red Cross responded to help the Watry family. The family says they will stay in a hotel with Zoe while they rebuild their lives.
Although the family must save the parts of a house that was destroyed by fire, they say their beliefs allow them to smile.
“Things can be replaced. Our life can’t, ”said Marcy.
“I’m also a Roman Catholic deacon in the San Jose Ward here,” said Peter. “And it’s belief in God. To like [Marcy] said everyone is safe. “