A local family is facing the aftermath of a destructive fire that completely razed their 30-year-old barn.
The owner of the barn, Justin Blackwood, shared his experience with Action News Jax, highlighting the tough situation he and his family are currently dealing with. They are reaching out to the community for assistance.
Reflecting on the fire that occurred on Tuesday night, Justin Blackwood described it as a “one of those oh crap moments.”
The fire caught them off guard as they were preparing for bed, with Blackwood’s wife in the middle of a shower. When he went out to check on their dogs, he was met with the sight of flames rapidly consuming the barn.
According to Blackwood, the fire started as a small blaze but escalated swiftly, even resulting in a fiery burst emanating from their tack room.
Despite the arrival of five Clay County Fire and Rescue trucks to combat the fire, it proved uncontrollable. The barn, which had been a fixture of the property since before Blackwood moved in, now remains as little more than scorched supports.
He now has a clear understanding of how it all began.
The family was taken aback when the blaze erupted while they were preparing for bed, with Blackwood’s wife in the shower. He emerged to check on their dogs and witnessed flames swiftly consuming the barn.
As per Blackwood’s account, the fire initially started as a small fire but rapidly escalated, even resulting in a burst of flames emanating from their tack room.
Blackwood mentioned that five Clay County Fire and Rescue trucks arrived to assist in extinguishing the fire, but it proved uncontrollable.
The barn, a longstanding feature of the property predating Blackwood’s residence, now remains as little more than burnt remnants. He now understands the origin of it all.
“From our understanding, and what the Clay County Fire Chief told us, that it was most likely electrical,” Blackwood told.
The barn had served as a sanctuary for a number of previously mistreated and abandoned animals. There were a total of nine creatures, including five horses, a pony, a calf, a cow, and two goats. Although two of them were inside during the fire, they emerged unharmed.
In the aftermath of the fire, many of the family’s animals lack proper shelter, and their future is uncertain. However, the community has rallied together to help them through this trying period.
Kind-hearted neighbors across the way have offered access to water, as the fire had damaged the family’s well pump.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to offer assistance to the family as they strive to rebuild and overcome the difficulties brought about by this devastating fire.