A ringing doorbell possibly saved the lives of two Jacksonville residents during an early morning fire on Thursday.
Jacksonville Fire Chief Paul White said the department received the call at around 4:25 a.m. on Bainbridge Street in the city limits. When the department arrived, fire was coming through the roof, White said. Jacksonville fire stations one and two responded to the blaze.
Officials said the fire was sparked by lightning striking the house during the Thursday morning storm.
“Lightning runs through all the wiring and it messes up the wiring and appliances,” White said. “After the lightning struck, the doorbell started ringing. It was shorting out or something, and that is what really woke the family up.”
The sound possibly saved the life of the homeowner Bernell White and her daughter Demechra White.
“It was weird,” Bernell White said. “I'm still trying to figure that one out. There was no one out there, so I didn't know what was going on.”
The fire destroyed the garage, two cars, the living room, dining room and kitchen areas. The bedrooms sustained heavy smoke damage, but were not destroyed in the flames.
The home has not been labeled a total loss, but is pending a decision from the insurance company, Bernell White said.
“We haven't looked (to see what can be salvaged),” Bernell White said. “It's a lot of water damage and smoke damage. I'm figuring nothing can be saved. The roof is off in the living room and the kitchen.”
Barnell White said she and her daughter has a place to stay for now and intends to call the Red Cross, but if residents have any donations for the family they can contact her at 214-475-9190.
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