JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville family of twelve lost their home early Saturday after a fire, just one week before Christmas.
The fire broke out overnight at the Bush home, located near Andress and Drayton streets.
Michael Bush is trying to keep his head up.
“I’m trying to figure out how it happened,” he said.
Bush said he has a Ring doorbell camera, which helped him see where the fire stated, which was on the outside of the home.
He, his wife and their eight children and two grandchildren were in the home at the time of the fire.
“It was a lot to see my kids go through something like that, have them crying, and there’s nothing I could do,” Bush said.
News4JAX video shows the home is nearly a total loss. The roof is caved in, and a layer of ash covers what’s left of the charred house.
“I was asleep and woke up to my baby saying, ‘Fire, fire,’” Bush said. “I had to get into survival mode.”
“My sister was sitting there doing my other sister’s hair, and you could hear the cracklings, flames came in,” Ayana Bush said.
Ayana Bush said the family escaped through the side door because the front door was on fire.
Though the inside and outside of the home suffered significant damage, every single person made it out alive and uninjured.
“For my kids to know what to do, it was surprising,” Michael Bush said.
In the meantime, the Bush family is staying in a hotel and receiving assistance from the Red Cross. Michael Bush said he’s eager to get his children back into a stable home environment, but he’s using his family’s misfortune as a teachable moment.
“It’s not about the struggle; It’s how you get out of the struggle,” he said.
Michael Bush said he’s worried about returning to work and his wife trying to work remotely in a hotel room. He’s also worried about his kids living out of a hotel when they go back to school in three weeks. But he’s not going to give up.
“I was always taught God can’t put nothing on you that you cant bear,” Michael Bush said.
Disaster hitting this family a week before Christmas, but they said they’re blessed to still have each other.
“I can replace this, but I can’t replace my kids,” Michael Bush said.
The Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department wasn’t able to determine what might have caused the fire. The state fire marshal is investigating, as is standard procedure.