Couple, pets escape Westside house fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A couple and their four dogs managed to safely escape a Tuesday morning fire in their mobile home on the Westside.

Flames were showing in the home when firefighters arrived just before 5 a.m. on Osteen Street, in the Jacksonville Heights area just off 103rd Street.

Patricia Roesler says she was asleep in the living room when she woke up to the smell of smoke from her front porch. That's when she saw flames coming inside her front window. She and her husband were able to escape without any injuries.

“I’m at a loss. We have nowhere to go now. We had just started rebuilding our lives," Roesler said.

This is not the first time the couple has lost their home. Almost a year ago to the day, flames spread through their last mobile home while they were away.

“We rent here because we're trying to get back on our feet from the last time,” Roesler said. “I mean it burned all the way down, no frame, nothing. It was completely gone.”

She believes someone purposely set their home on fire.

"As hard a sleeper as I am, from the last fire, knowing what it smells like. It was instinct. It took me a few minutes to get my husband up screaming," Roesler said. "He’s holding himself together for me because I’m disabled and I have bad panic attacks. I am lucky I woke up. Very lucky I woke up."

The state fire marshal does believe the cause of the fire is suspicious and is investigating.

The Red Cross is assisting the couple.

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