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Arlington family left homeless after house fire

No injuries reported in fire on Lorna Road

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The day after Christmas, an Arlington family is left homeless after a fire rips through their home while small children were inside. Fortunately everyone got out safe, but the damage was done.

The fire started around 5 p.m. Friday at a home on Lorna Road, south of Merrill Road.

Firefighters told News4Jax a 17-year-old was inside with two siblings around 3 and 5 years old when the fire broke out.

Fire extinguishers littered the property because numerous neighbors showed up trying to help as fire crews were arriving. It took firefighters roughly 10 minutes to extinguish the fire, which destroyed much of the front of the home.

Jim Butters' granddaughter lives two doors down from the home and said she ran to try to help when she wasn't certain whether the kids escaped.

"I think they found out that most of the kids were all out on the porch anyway. Not inside the residence," said Butters.

"Is that her on the phone?" asked News4Jax's Scott Johnson.

"No, she's over on the porch," Butters said.

"How old is she?" Johnson said.

"Sixteen," said Butters.

"So she's got to be shaken up over this?" Johnson asked.

"She is, especially since her cellphone was plugged in in the house and that's why she went back in," said Butters.

Neighbors told News4Jax everyone in this neighborhood is practically family and they're doing everything they can to help, shaken up by a fire so close to Christmas.

"It's baffling. It scares the crap out of me because it could be my house," said neighbor Stephanie Smith. "All that could go through my mind was the two boys that live in the house, the two babies. Luckily nobody was hurt, but it scares me, it really does. Especially around the holidays."

The Red Cross is helping the family. There is no word on whether they had homeowner's insurance, but News4Jax is told the parents aren't as worried about the home, just relieved the kids made it out OK.

Saturday the family set up a go fund me account. http://www.gofundme.com/jcwn94

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