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Family of 8 displaced after fire

6:46 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department responded to a fire mid-morning Friday that left a family of eight homeless.

The fire started in the family's apartment at the University Town Homes on the 3000 block of Justina Road, according to JFRD spokesperson Tom Francis.

Upon arrival JFRD found the second floor apartment fully engulfed in flames, according to Francis.

JFRD said the fire was quickly extinguished and no other apartments where damaged.

Ciarra Jackson, 27, resident of the charred apartment and mother to all six children said, "I still don't believe it. I don't want to leave home. I don't believe this happened."

Jackson and her 26-year-old husband lived in the apartment with their children, which includes two sets of twins, ranging in age from 10-years-old, 8-years-old, 4-years-old and 1-year-old.

"I just lost everything in the blink of an eye today," said Jackson.

A preliminary investigation by JFRD indicate that the fire was potentially started by one of the six children living in the apartment.

"My son, he went upstairs this morning. I told him to go upstairs and clean up his room," Jackson explained, "he came back down, picked up all the trash. He went back up."

Jackson believes when went back up stairs, he must have lit the mattress on fire.

"He was so terrified that he didn't come down to tell us."

By the time Jackson realized what happened, it was too late. Jackson says her four year old son got a hold of a lighter.

"He sat there and he could've been hurt. I just thank God right now that I'm alive."

The Red Cross is helping displaced family.

"I lost clothes, I lost birth certificates. I lost cash, bank cards, I lost everything," said Jackson. "When my kids get out of school today, they have no home to come to. They have no clothes to put on. They have nothing."

First Coast News

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