Family of 7 displaced by house fire

Man, baby treated for smoke inhalation

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, FLa. - A family of seven is homeless and getting help from the American Red Cross after a fire ripped through their home Thursday morning.

Jacksonville Fire-Rescue said an elderly man and a baby were taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, but both are expected to be OK.

The fire broke out about 7:30 a.m. in the back of the home in the 1100 block of Bluehill Drive.

"The first question I had, was there anyone else in the house, because the flames were actually in the backyard and they were basically approaching the trees," neighbor Steven Battle said.

The fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived.

"There was smoke everywhere, and I heard the lady that stays there say, 'Grab my baby,'" Battle said. "It was a little infant. The old man was sitting on the porch and put the baby in a box."

The homeowner said he's lived in that home a little more than 20 years and is very upset. Neighbors were upset, too.

"It's devastating. Our prayers and concerns goes out to the family and anything they need we can do," Battle said.

"I just pray that God is with them and that they'll be OK," neighbor Keith Kirkland. "I'll offer all the assistance I can, me and my family."

"We're going to give him a hotel to get him through the weekend, and we're giving him some money for food and clothing to help him get back on his feet," said Leanne Turo, of the Red Cross.

Fire-Rescue said the home was a total loss, and it is investigating the cause.

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