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Mother of six loses Gilchrist County home in fire

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 10:22 PM EST
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HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. (WCJB) - UPDATE: Gilchrist Fire Rescue officials say their responders arrived at the location within 22 minutes.

They had difficulty locating the homeowner, but were eventually able to make contact. They were able to get her information and contact the Red Cross.

The investigation into the fire has closed. The cause of the fire is undetermined, but was possibly caused to a space heater.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A Gilchrist County woman and mother of six lost her home of nearly forty years on Monday.

Bonnie Brown has lived in the same trailer in High Springs for 36 years and early Monday morning her home, belongings, and even a beloved pet all went up in flames.

“The walls, it just started crawling up the walls, it just happened so quick it was just like it exploded into everything,” said Brown.

Brown and her adult son were able to escape the blaze uninjured, but her Chihuahua did not make it out.

“Before I could get back to my room to get my stuff and my dog, the ceiling was falling in and we couldn’t save the dog. We were lucky to get outside,” said Brown.

Brown says it took Gilchrist County Fire Rescue crews nearly an hour to get to her home and she blames the blaze on a Nite Owl, a camera that she got for in-home surveillance right before Christmas.

“It’s a camera that you protect your home with and I’ve had it since Christmas and up underneath where I had it at was where I seen the fire come out and there was nothing else there but the camera underneath it, the cabinet. And that’s the only thing that would be in between. There’s nothing else there, nothing plugged in, I had surge protectors and everything,” said Brown.

Brown says the Salvation Army will give her enough money to pay for a few days in a motel, but as of Monday night, she and her son will be sleeping in a truck on their property.

One of Brown’s sons has set up a Facebook fundraising page to help pay for the damage and get her back on her feet.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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