JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A massive house fire in Atlantic Beach burned the walls to the ground early Wednesday morning.
The homeowner and his roommate were only able to make it out alive because of their new puppy, Sasha, who lost her life in the fire.
Four people lived in the house off of Cypress Landing Drive.
The homeowner asked not to be identified or put on camera.
They said two of them were home sleeping when the homeowner’s dog, Sasha, began barking repeatedly.
She eventually woke him up and led him to the living room, where he found it engulfed in flames.
“I hear just the scream in his voice,” Kara Winchester said. “It’s distressed, like I could tell something was going on.”
She said her roommate’s scream woke her up as well.
Once she realized the house was on fire, she said she grabbed her two dogs and ran out of the house.
She said their cat ran out as well.
The homeowner said Sasha and their other dog, Guinness, ran and hid in the house.
Before help could arrive, they said it was too late.
“It was bad by the time we already woke up,” Winchester said. “We couldn’t even go in that side of the house.”
Their neighbors, Jesse and Hannah Lee, said they heard their screams and saw flames coming from the window.
They made the call to 911 and got out their hoses to try to help.
“This is really destroying this house,” Jesse Lee said. “But the aftermath of walking through and seeing what’s taking place, it’s something else. I couldn’t even imagine.”
Fire crews were able to put out the fire that touched every room in the house. Winchester said they believe it started by a drill charger under a mattress in a back bedroom. Once the mattress caught fire, they said it quickly spread.
Winchester and the homeowner made it out with her two dogs and cat. They said Sasha and Guinness died in the house.
“She (Shasha) woke him up and he’s a heavy sleeper,” their roommate, Taylor Martin said. “She had the will and was willing to die to save us, and that’s amazing.”
Now, the four are left rummaging through the house to find what’s salvable -- a few personal items, family photos and clothing.
The Red Cross stopped by for resources because the house is no longer livable.
Cox Media Group