WPB family escapes early-morning fire - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

WPB family escapes early-morning fire

By Lindsay Cohen email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Calethea Barnes was fast asleep Tuesday morning when a loud noise startled her out of her slumber.

"We were asleep, and I nudged my husband because I heard the smoke alarm," Barnes said. "He jumped up, and he looked and the whole front porch was on fire." 

"It wasn't inside the house, but we could see the flames on top, you know, on the door and on the kitchen window," Barnes continued. "And so he yelled and told everyone to, 'get out, get out, get out!'"

Barnes' husband Henry quickly woke up four children, including a 1 year old, who were sleeping inside the apartment off Brandywine Drive in suburban West Palm Beach. The father ushered everyone to safety.

"I started kicking on the side door and kicking on the side door till it finally came open and that's how we came out," Henry Barnes said. "It was real scary because my two daughters -- their bedroom is right on the porch. It's connected to the porch. And all I seen is just orange fire."

Firefighters got the initial call just before 4 a.m., and made quick work of the blaze at the Rosewood Apartments. All six people escaped without injury but many of their possessions are likely ruined.

"I'm thankful [for our safety]," Calethea Barnes said, "but everything... we just moved here, like, two months ago, and everything we own is in that house."

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue is still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

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