Jaksonville, Fla. Family Escapes House Fire

Members of the Navy came to the aid of one of their own on Tuesday after a woman's home was destroyed by an overnight fire.
Homeowner Hazel Sims has worked at the Naval Air Station at Jacksonville for 12 years.
She said she believes the fire started with a lighter that her son found on his way home from a basketball game. Sims said the teen threw the lighter in a trashcan in the home.
The flames broke out at about 11 p.m. Monday night and quickly spread through the house.
"The back part of what was my son's bedroom, the siding and everything melted off," Sims said.
She said she had just lain down for the night when she heard smoke detectors going off throughout her home.
She said she ran and found her son preparing to shower in the bathroom next to his bedroom.
"We saw the whole room in flames. All we did was run out and get our neighbor to call 911," Sims said.
Fire and rescue personnel arrived at the home within minutes. Sims said it took them less than 20 minutes to extinguish the flames, but the damage had already been done.
"The inside is completely destroyed. It's hard to believe that I'm homeless and have nowhere to stay except my neighbor's house," Sims said.
Sims and her son were able to escape the burning home with little more than their lives. She said they don't have any immediate family in the area, but her Navy family came to her aid when they heard about the fire.
"As soon as my command knew about it, my officer in charge and my chief came out here to meet me and see what I needed," Sims said. "They bought me food. They bough Shawn clothes. They went to Wal- Mart and gave me a monetary gift, and all that was done within an hour."
"Once we got wind of it this morning, we packed it up and came on out here," said one of Sims' colleagues.
Sims said her husband is expected to return from Puerto Rico on Wednesday, but the family was unsure about what it was going to do until they find out what the insurance company says about the home.

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