Saucier Home Struck By Lightning

A Saucier family is picking up the pieces after lightning set their home on fire. The 4 bedroom house was severely damaged.

Luckily the two adults and seven children were not hurt, but they need help to restore their home and lives.

"I was asleep in the recliner. I heard a big boom noise and I jumped up," said Donny Raffeo.

Raffeo gets choked up every time he recalls his near death experience.

"When the noise hit, I looked over and the couch was on fire. I grabbed my cell phone and pushed my family out of the door. I came back in to see if I could put it out or something. It was just too late," said Raffeo.

Their home survived Katrina's wrath, but this force of nature was inescapable. According to the Raffeos, lightning struck a little after 3pm on Wednesday. It traveled through the wall and set fire to their now hardly recognizable couch.

"That's the scary part. The night before last, my son slept on that couch," said Raffeo

Their crowded household consists of three of their own biological children and four they've taken in from family members who they say are not able to provide for the kids.

The close family of nine has been forced to separate since the fire, a disruption Debbie Raffeo says is unbearable.

"That is one of my biggest things that hurts me right now is having to separate all of my babies," said Mrs. Raffeo.

"Thank God my kids were not in here. Every bit of this can be replaced - they can't. I am going to get back on my feet. Its just hard. Look around, everything I've got is gone."

If you would like to help the Raffeos, you can visit your local Hancock Bank branch and ask to donate to the Benefit Account for Donny Raffeo.

Mrs. Raffeo says she will gladly accept clothing donations for the children - just call (228) 263-0293.