Mandarin couple survives fire; pet did not | News

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Mandarin couple survives fire; pet did not

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  It was a normal day on Mandarin's Toucan Drive until Harley Mimbs and his wife, Jane, came running from their home.

"I threw a shirt on and saw Harley and my mom said 'call 911,'" said Zack Gibbons.

The Mimbs home was on fire. Before firefighters would snuff out the last ember, there would be a rescue and there would a be a tragedy.

"The last we heard, the dog didn't make it," said Miles Gibbons.

It started around 9 a.m. when the Mimbs' screams for help cracked the silence of the Julington Hills community.

SLIDESHOW: 2 hospitalized after Mandarin house fire

"When they ran back in, I grabbed a hose," said Zack Gibbons, "and sprayed the door down, but at that point it was so far gone I had to step away from the house."

Mimbs and his wife escaped the fire and were transported to Baptist Hospital. As of Wednesday evening, both Jane Mimbs had been released from the hospital. Harley Mimbs was still in the hospital in fair condition.

The couple's daughter Teresa Marie spent Tuesday evening sifting through the fire charred-water soaked debris to see what she could salvage.

"My mom had a lot of pictures of her eight grandchildren," she said. "The pictures are gone."

It took firefighters 40 minutes to get the blaze under control. Zack Gibbons was able to rescue the Mimbs' two cats, but not their dog.

"The pets were like their children," said Teresa.

The State Fire Marshal has ruled the fire accidental.

A spokesperson said the blaze started in the attic, where the family stored a lot of Christmas decorations.

The Fire Marshal's office said the most probable cause was an electrical wire -- a drop cord was in the attic.

It is difficult to place a value on the loss of the pet, but fire officials determined the loss of the single story house exceeds $100,000. 


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