The call came in just after 9 Tuesday morning. A neighbor of Victor and Sandy Martin noticed flames coming from their home off John Vickers Road. Ellenton, Norman Park, and Colbertson fire departments answered the call, and battled the flames for nearly an hour.
Thankfully, no one was at home at the time of the fire. The entire back den was destroyed. This was a new addition to the home, and had just been completed a few months ago. While no people were injured, the family did lose one of their family dogs, who was sleeping next to the back fireplace.
The damage is extensive. Victor Martin explains, "Everything on the second story went down to the first story, so you know, it's pretty bad."
The Martin's close-knit community of neighbors eagerly helped the family salvage clothing and furniture. Keith Lindsey, Sandy Martin's brother says, "We really appreciate the people coming out in the community because we all kind of stick together. I mean, if it was them, we would do it for them also."
While the house is expected to be deemed a total loss, the Martins are just glad no one was hurt. "We can rebuild a house. You know, as long as family's ok," says Martin.
The fire department is currently investigating the cause of the fire. The Martins say they may have lost everything if not for the efforts of their quick-thinking neighbors.