JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For 37 years, she's been known in her McCoys Creek neighborhood as the foster mother to anyone who needed a home.
Now 94-year-old Flora Davis doesn't have a home for herself or her grandchildren after a fire destroyed her Bronson Street house Sunday afternoon.
Davis slept in an enclosed front porch because she didn't like sleeping in a bed. She preferred to leave those for the people she took in.
The light of day Monday did not lighten the mood for Davis and her two grandsons. Thirty-two years of memories were gone.
"Ain't no clothes or nothing, everything is burnt up," Davis said.
Fire investigators said they don't know yet what caused the fire, but they're quite certain it was an accident. They said the fire was massive and destroyed the home.
Miss Flora, as she's known in the neighborhood, was not home when it caught fire. No one was.
She's taking the close call in stride.
"If it had been His will, I would have been here, but it wasn't God's will for me to be here," Davis said.
Her grandsons, Kayon Dunson and Jeremiah Randolph, are still struggling with what could have been.
"It would have been nothing else to live for if I lost her like that," Dunson said.
"I don't know what mindset I'd be in 'cause losing a mother did enough, so to lose a woman that done took care of us, done been here when everyone else done died, I think me and my brother would have lost it yesterday," Randolph said.
They did lose everything they own.
Davis wishes she could have found her Bible spared, but will settle for the plastic containers of nickles, dimes and quarters from her burned-out car.
It won't be enough to pay for a place to live. She and her grandsons have one more night in a hotel provided by the Red Cross.
"Are you scared?" Channel 4's Alicia Booth asked Davis.
"No, ma'am. I got Jesus. What am I scared of?" Davis said.
The house holds a lot of memories, many painful, some wonderful.
"Well, the good thing was when I first got this place, we lived happy," Davis said. She said she's not happy now after losing her home.
"I'll be alright. I'm in God's hands," she said.
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