‘We are so proud of her’: Only Channel 9 speaks with family who lost home in fire

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A Seminole County family is picking up the pieces after losing their home in a fire. The blaze happened on Saturday, on Suzanne Way, and engulfed the place in minutes.


It took hours for several firefighters to contain the blaze.

“There were fire trucks literally lining the entire street, from there all the way up. So, I couldn’t even park anywhere near the house,” said Kelly Miller, who was at work during the fire. “It’s very crazy to go in there and see your entire life. You know, just pictures, mementos, anything you’ve collected over the years, just in piles and covered in water damage.”

Surveillance video obtained by Channel 9 shows the smoke coming out of the house.

Watch: Salvation Army rebuilds facility where fire broke out

At the time when the fire ignited, 11-year-old Hayley was in the home with her grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s. 

“I touched the door handle. And it was not just that, and I saw the smoke coming from the bottom of the door,” she said.

When she heard the alarm going off, she didn’t even think twice, and sprang into action, getting her grandpa out of the house, and saving the lives of her family’s three dogs and one cat.

Read: ‘Where did all these nice people come from?’: Community rallies to rebuild home destroyed by fire

“I walked out the double doors to get my grandpa to make sure he knew, and he was okay. Because I didn’t have my phone or anything like that. So, I went to my neighbor’s house, and they helped me call 911.”

That quick thinking was influenced by her dad - who’s a firefighter in Kissimmee. 

“We are so proud of her. I’ve taught her since she was able to walk that you feel the door, you look for smoke under the door, if the door handles hot, find a different way out,” said Geoff Miller.

Read: Firefighters save a family and pets from house fire in Seminole County

Channel 9 asked the firefighter if there was anything positive learned from this experience. “That my kids actually listened to me when I talked to them,” he said. “And the overwhelming support from people I don’t even know or have only said hi to once or twice.”

The Millers said the whole process to rebuild their home will take as long as one year.

Not only that, but it’ll cost them tens of thousands of dollars.

But in the end, they’re just happy everyone is safe.

Their neighbors put together a GoFundMe page to help the family rebuild.

“Thank you to everyone that has reached out and prayed for us, and thought about us, or donated anything,” said Kelly Miller. “We are just very grateful.”

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