Wakulla County family starts recovery process after losing their home to a fire

By: Brandon Spencer | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 09. 2020

Wakulla County, Fla. (WCTV) -- A Wakulla County family is now homeless following a fire that destroyed their home. It happened early Saturday morning when Joy Mitchell smelled smoke and immediately sprung into action.

She woke up the rest of her family, and rushed them out the house. It only took six seconds for first responders to arrive on scene, but that's all it took for the roof of the home to completely collapse.

The Mitchell family's brother-in-law ,Charles Clayton, said that if the family wasn't so prepared, then things could have ended differently.

"They practiced family fire drills and they had to make sure their smoke detectors and everything was under code and they had batteries in them and they had everything," said Clayton.

The Mitchells lost everything they own in the fire, but because of the outpour of love they received from the community, they were able to gain an extended family.

"It's so important for us in the community to take care of people in our community and these amazing folks have had a terrible tragedy," said community supporter Lisa Watson. "The folks coming together, showing these guys a path forward is going to make their recovery so much better."

The community has rallied behind the Mitchells and has given them much needed support. Within 24 hours, the Facebook fundraiser for the Mitchell family has raised thousand of dollars and they have even received donations in person. From money, to pillows, volunteers are giving their support, and the Mitchell family is overcome by the love.

"Joy and Dj, they're obviously going through a lot right now and so this has been extremely overwhelming," said Clayton. "But to see the amount of support that's coming in from people that have no idea who they are, it restores a little bit of faith in humanity."

Although the family is getting a lot of help, it is going to take a lot more to get back what was taken from them and they're unsure what the future might hold. One thing the Mitchell family's loved ones are sure about, however, is that they're happy to still have them alive.

"Not everyday is good but there is good in everyday. The fire was bad but the family is alive," said Joy Mitchell's mother, Denise Walsh.

The Mitchells wants to thank all those that have donated or reached out, including the first responders, who they say, treated them like family.

If you want to help them you can reach out to Denise Watson at her cell phone number 850-545-9402 or her email B1d1halstead@aol.com.

You can also help by visiting their Facebook fundraiser or their GoFundMe.