Fire Destroys Florida House

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla.-- Nassau County Fire Rescue (NCFR) responded to a house fire at the Carter family three-bedroom home on Dec. 11 at 5:12 am at the 2300 block of Roy Sikes Rd in Hilliard.

"Upon arrival, the structure was fully involved and flames had vented through the roof," Fire Chief Chuck Cooper said. "We performed a defensive attack against the fire while awaiting more manpower."

Betty Carter was awakened by the sound of breaking glass and went into the living room where she saw flames near the couch. She awoke her husband, Robert Carter as she retreated into the bedroom to make escape using the bedroom window.

"Thankfully, both occupants escaped safely with minor injuries, Mr. Carter suffered first- and second-degree burns to his nose and cheeks as he attempted to throw water on the fire using a cooking pot from the kitchen," Cooper said. "Mrs. Carter suffered lacerations on her left leg as her brother, who lives next door, pulled her through the bedroom window."

There were no smoke alarms in the 36-year old home.

The fire consumed nearly 80 percent of the home, and destroyed all of the personal belongings. The Red Cross arrived and assisted with food, clothing and financial assistance.

Two of the three dogs and the two cats were found safe.

Fire officials estimate the fire caused about $45,000 in damage to the structure and contents. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.