GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Two Green Cove Springs residents are without their home after a Sunday afternoon fire.
Fire rescue said the fire started just after 1 p.m. at a house on Black Creek Trail. More than 20 firefighters were sent and some got to the burning home as soon as eight minutes after the initial call, but the fire was already out of control. Investigators said the house is a complete loss.
Richard Moritz lives next door. The cottage he owns was also damaged, but the damage is mostly cosmetic. He said he was doing yard work when he noticed smoke coming through the bushes.
“Once I had seen the smoke, it wasn't about 10 minutes, it was bursting flames,” Moritz said.
Victoria Johnson said her aunt and uncle lived in the home. She said it started out as a normal Sunday.
"He said he smelled something funny," Johnson said. "He ended up coming out of the bedroom and saw flames. He yelled at her to get out. They were able to get out with the clothes on their back.”
Johnson said it's hard to say what they'll do next.
"We just wake up tomorrow and start trying to figure things out," Johnson said.
The family said it believes the fire may have started underneath the home, which was built on stilts. The State Fire Marshal is looking into the cause.
A Compass Bank account was set up for anyone would would like to donate to the family. Specify account number 6735837468.