Tallahassee Family Loses Everything in Fire

By: Ivette Marques
By: Ivette Marques

Donna Scruggs sits on the sidewalk across from her charred home in disbelief. A pile of pictures is all that remains.

Scruggs says she was in her room when she heard an explosion and her son calling out to her.

Donna Scruggs said, "Just a split second, he hollered, ‘mama, call 911, the house is on fire. Get out of here!’"

Donna, her son and the two dogs made it out alive, but firefighters could not salvage the home from the fire they believe started near the dryer in the utility room.

Bill McClellen, Tallahassee Fire Battalion Chief, said, "The house is a total loss. What didn't burn, smoke and heat inside the house destroyed everything in there, so everything's ruined."

As a firefighter hands over the few pictures recovered, Donna Scruggs says she wishes she had had more time to collect her belongings, pictures of the daughter she lost just a few months ago. But with her house up in flames, Scruggs was in survival mode.

Donna Scruggs said, "I always thought if I ever were in a fire, in fact, I had my pictures stacked up in one place, and you know, we lost Stephanie a few months ago, but all you do is think about self-preservation and you just gotta get out of there."

Now the Scruggs are left picking up the pieces and starting over, though some memories can never be replaced.

Red Cross volunteers were on hand to help the Scruggs family with a hotel, a place for their dogs to stay, food and a clothing allowance.


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