Fire Destroys Gulfport Home

Grace Kennedy worried most about getting her young children to safety. Someone in the house heard a "pop" this morning and then saw flames in a back bedroom. The six members of the family who were at home, all managed to escape. But the flames quickly destroyed nearly everything they owned.

Family members spent Thursday morning looking for clothes to wear and a place to live. They tried to salvage what they could from the ashes, but the fast-moving fire torched almost everything in the wood frame house.

Grace Kennedy says the fire began in her son's rear bedroom.

"Then I made sure all the kids was out," Kennedy says.  "Then I ran back in and that's when I saw the curtains on fire."

As the flames spread, the family quickly evacuated.

"I was in there asleep. And they just busted in the room and told me to get out, the house was on fire. And we ran out," Kennedy said.

The children all made it to safety. But the family dog refused to come out from under a bed. Everyone assumed their pet had died in the fire.

"But she was still alive," Kennedy said. "Her name's 'Sandy,' but we're going to change it to 'Miracle.'"

The dog miraculously survived. But the kid's Christmas presents didn't fare as well. Nine-year-old Damien Taylor found little to salvage.

"Our Christmas toys. They're in the house and they got on fire too," little Damien said.  "And our shoes. Me and Tony's 'Pokemon' shoes got on fire."

The children lost all their gifts. What was a new scooter is easily visible among the ruins. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. For the near future, family members will stay with relatives and friends. And look for whatever help they can.

"Clothes. Everything. Anything y'all got to help me with," Grace Kennedy said. "I'm here to take it. I need all the help I can get right now."