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Pace family left homeless after fire
SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. A pace family is without a home after an early Sunday morning fire destroyed their long time family home. The Attaways have lived at 3863 Attaway Dr. since the 1960s. In fact, the street is named after them. John and Mary Attaway say it was more than a house; it was a home, in every minute meaning of the word. Nineteen-sixty, we moved in, said John. I was 8 years old. My daddy and uncle and a couple for friends built it. He says it took them two months to build. What stood for more than five decades was destroyed by the fire in minutes. Mary said they were awaked by smoke just after 1 a.m. on Sunday. They believe it was because of an electrical fire. I said baby, fire in the house, get up! And he jumped up then, she said. I called 9-1-1, said John. By 2 a.m. it was burned. The Red Cross is putting up the Attaways at a hotel until Wednesday. John says he hopes a family friend can help them with a place to sleep after that. Johns step son, Robert McConnell was staying with a friend the night of the fire. The house was supposed to go to him. My step-dad's father and other family had built the house themselves, McConnell said. I felt like it needed someone that would take care of it after he was gone. McConnell spent Monday afternoon looking through the house. The family was only able to salvage a few items from the fire. But McConnell found something through the charred debris. He found two urns that belonged to Marys mother and the other to Johns son. Family members thought they were lost in the fire, and the discovery brought tears to Mary. Eventually, the Attaways say they will tear down the house and build a new house in the same spot.