Family loses everything in pre-Thanksgiving fire

- Members of a Largo family are counting their blessings after a fast-moving fire destroyed their home the day before Thanksgiving.

Hot, intense flames poured from the Largo house.  The thick, dark smoke could be seen for miles.

“When I got here there was like 20 firetrucks blocking two-blocks worth, Sheriffs, everything,” said homeowner Chip Bombard.  “Then I knew it was bad.”

Chip rushed home from work Wednesday afternoon after getting a call from his 12-year-old daughter that the grill was on fire.

The reality was much worse.

“I mean, it was enough to melt everything within 25-feet of the house,” Chip said.

The fast-moving inferno ripped through a back deck, and spread to the house.  It tore through the roof, causing it to collapse.

Out back, the flames melted plastic, charred belongings, and was hot enough to damage the neighbor’s house. 

And what the fire didn’t destroy, the fire hoses took care of.

“It’s all water damage,” said Chip.  “Just tons and tons of water cutting through your memories and putting them down into a big puddle on the floor.”

It may have been prepping the turkey that sparked the fire.  

Chip says he spent hours smoking a 22-pound bird, and an ember could have fallen onto the deck during clean-up early Wednesday morning.

Chip and his wife, Debbie, have lived in the house for 23-years and tell FOX 13 News they’ve done a lot of work to make it the perfect home for their family.

“And I don’t even know how long this would take to even put back together, to even, do they gotta bulldoze it, do they just take the roof off and clean it, I don’t know, I really don’t,” Chip said.

What’s important is his daughter made it out of the house safely. 

Four pets were also inside when the fire broke out.  Dogs Tinkerbell and Rebel are doing fine, their Cockatiel named Eddie is at the veterinarian for smoke inhalation, and Stampy the cat hasn’t been found yet.

Chip says the family will bounce back from this hardship, and plan to salvage anything they can from the soot and debris.  Including that Thanksgiving turkey.

“Dinner’s still on,” Chip said.

The family will be spending Thursday’s holiday with loved ones as planned.

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