Last week, a Carrabelle family lost everything to a house fire.
On May 15, Bridgette Morrow was planning a wedding for her best friend, Crystal Bennett and Bennett’s fiancé Harvey Barrack. Morrow and the bride had gone to the Boardwalk Boutique to pick up their dresses. Morrow noticed smoke on leaving the store and when she and Bennett passed the IGA, she realized it was coming from her home at 206 NW 10th Street.
By the time the women reached the fire, some neighbors had arrived on the scene. Someone kicked the front door open allowing three dogs and two cats to escape the conflagration.
A visitor from Islamorada attempted to extinguish the fire with the hose from Barrack’s washing machine but was unsuccessful. He later told Morrow that the fire seemed to have originated from the left front eye of the stove.
Morrow said she had used the stove shortly before leaving the house but had heated water on the right front eye.
A spokesperson for the state fire marshal’s office said the fire is still under investigation but at this time, the origin is thought to be accidental. She said the blaze appears to have started in the stove. Investigators said the house was a total loss and the estimated cost of the damage was $50,000. Final determination of the cost of the loss comes from the insurance company.
Morrow said she and her children had been experiencing problems with the electrical system in the house for some time. She said she had informed her landlord that he needed to have an electrician come to the house.
Morrow and son Brandon both said they had been shocked by the refrigerator.
“Light bulbs started blowing for no reason and you couldn’t touch the refrigerator, stove or water faucet for a half hour after the floor was mopped without getting shocked,” she said.
Morrow and family are currently staying at the home of newlyweds Crystal and Harvey Barrack.
Morrow said she plans to return home to Alabama as soon as she can raise money to make the trip. Unemployed and filing for disability, she was widowed in 2010. An account is being set up at Centennial Bank in her name to accept donations.
Four of her animals disappeared during the fire. They are a red female Chihuahua named Scrappy with a scar on her left hip and an elderly female Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix that is missing four front teeth and is blind in her left eye. The second dog has a peanut shaped mark on her back and is red and white. Her name is Daisy May. Both dogs have been spotted in the area of Three Rivers Road. Also missing are two cats, Smokey, a brow and gray Maine Coon and Tigger a large yellow tabby male who Brandon Morrow described as looking like Garfield.
If you spot any of the animals or have retrieved them, or would like to help the Morrow family, please call (205) 393-9198.
Morrow said she wishes to thank everyone who has helped during this crisis.
She said Caroline’s Thrift Shop in Eastpoint has opened their clothing section to her and her children. The Methodist Church in Carrabelle has also opened their clothing pantry and provided the Morrows with food.
She said Carl and Dana Whaley provided the family with personal hygiene products the night after the fire. She also offered special thanks to Nikki Mock, Keisha Messer, Darius May, and Crystal and Harvey Barrack.
Morrow said numerous rumors have circulated about her since the fire. She said copies of the sheriff’s report and the fire marshal’s findings would be posted in the Carrabelle Post Office as soon as they become available.