• Victim of attack and arson getting help from community

    By: Alyana Gomez


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Caution tape that can still be seen outside the home is the first sign that something bad happened there.

    "The worst was having a man break in and try to strangle me," said Martie Williams.

    Three months ago, 72-year-old Williams' home was invaded in the middle of the night. She was beaten, choked and hospitalized.

    After enduring the most traumatic experience of her life, the only thing she had left was ripped from her by a house fire.

    "The next night or two this happened, and we think it's the same guy," said friend and neighbor Max George.

    The man believed to be behind the arson and the attack is now behind bars.

    Williams was left homeless, and with no family to help. She turned to the Justice Coalition.

    "She had come back and tried to live in that house and got double pneumonia and went back to the hospital for a long time. From there, she was sent to a convalescent home," said Ann Dugger with the Justice Coalition.

    Since then, the community has stepped in to help remodel her home. Paint, drywall, a new roof and more has already been donated by local companies. Action News was there when Dugger revealed the exciting news to Williams.

    "Oh my heavens! How fantastic. God works in miracles, doesn't he?" said Williams. 

    Duggar believes it will only be two more weeks before Williams can move back in.

    "I wouldn't have cared if I had opened the door and there wasn't a stick of furniture in there; it still would have been home," said Williams.

    Williams still needs a garage door, and other essentials. Gift card donations are also encouraged so Williams can purchase new clothes.

    If you would like to help, contact the Justice Coalition.

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