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Springfield family loses home in fire

Red Cross assisting family with temporary living arrangement

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Red Cross is assisting a family of five after their home caught fire early Friday morning in the Springfield area.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was called to the home at 120 East 19th St. just before 2 a.m.

"They woke up with their bed on fire, and then she was pounding on my window asking me to call 911," neighbor Noni Maclaren said.

Maclaren said the landlord had cut off the family's electricity and put a lock box on the breaker unit.

"I took her up because they didn't have any lights or anything, and her children, I believe, are 1, 2 and 4. And obviously it's very dark, and I took her out so she can get some candles [yesterday]," Maclaren said. "And she had thought she put them all out, and apparently there wasn't."

The mom and three kids were able to get out of the unit during the fire, but the mom's boyfriend was in and out of the home trying to salvage belongings.

"The boyfriend was still in there, trying to get whatever he could, and she kept yelling for him to get out. She had the kids in the front, didn't even have time to get anything, but one blanket to try to keep them warm," Maclaren said.

The family told Maclaren one of the candles may have caught the mattress they were all sleeping on on fire.

"The mattress is burned up, and if you look inside, everything is black and burnt up, and they only got one basket of clothes," Maclaren said.

Firefighters were able to get the fire out quickly, and no injuries were reported, but the house has been condemned.

The State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

"The house is not livable now. This entire inside of the house has been gutted out by fire," said Red Cross volunteer Ed Johnson.

In the meantime, the Red Cross is assisting the mother, her three young children and her boyfriend with necessities and a place to stay for a couple of days.

"We interviewed her and we're going to give her a hotel for her and her children and some assistance for food and clothing," Johnson said. "We also gave her some referrals to outside agencies that may be able to help her with food and finding a place to live."