Family try to move on after losing everything in Southside house fire

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A family is trying to move on after losing everything in a house fire Monday night in Jacksonville’s South End.

Ruby Gerundo told News4JAX that she, her sister, Laura Wall, and Wall’s teenage son lived in the Glen Gardner Drive home which caught fire, leaving behind a melted siding shell and charred support beams.

Wall, who owns the property, was the only person home when the fire started. Gerundo said Wall was in the Gainesville burn unit on Tuesday after waking up from a medically induced coma.

“It can take something as simple as a small spark to set your whole world on fire,” said Gerundo, who was wearing a shirt a neighbor gave him.

She said the spark came from a wall-mounted air conditioner in her nephew’s bedroom.

“My sister heard pops,” Gerundo said. She said her sister opened the door to her son’s bedroom and as she opened the door, the flames rushed at her too fast for her to avoid.

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She said that more than 20% of her sister’s body is burned.

“She is already suffering a loss. Her husband died a year ago from stage 4 lung cancer,” Gerundo said. “Everything that belonged to him caught fire along with the house.”

She said that after her death, they could no longer pay for insurance.

Three cats and a bearded dragon were also lost in the fire. But the dog, named Tank, got away with it.

“I’m very grateful. He’s a very rambunctious energetic dog,” Gerundo said. “I’m glad my sister’s life wasn’t taken, luckily. It’s going to be hard for her, but at least I’m glad I didn’t lose her.

In the meantime, she said they didn’t have the money to rebuild or put down a deposit and were looking for a place to rent by the month.

“I would be more than happy to pay,” she said. “I just need someone to try my luck.”

A GoFundMe for the family has been created.

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