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Local family cleans up after fire

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Posted at 9:09 PM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-27 17:17:49-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - It's a bittersweet night for one local family.

No is hurt after a fire spread throughout the Clark family's yard. However, the family is cleaning up a big mess after the flames caused thousands of dollars of damage.

The fire started around 1:30 p.m. on Bob Ellis Road. The homeowner says, a week earlier, he cleaned up the yard and burnt some brush. He says the fire was out but the ashes were still smoldering when the wind picked up just enough to light up the dry grass.

The only person home when the fire started was a family friend.  For the past few months, he's been living in a camper just a few feet away from the main house. He woke up Friday afternoon when he smelled smoke. He saw flames through the window and escaped the camper without injury.

Tallahassee firefighters say once they got on scene, they had the fire knocked down in a matter of minutes. They returned a few hours later, checking for hotspots.

They say the fire is now fully out, but the flames destroyed the camper and a shed on the property. The shed held expensive tools, family heirlooms and old pictures. Some are salvageable, but many are not.

"I had a bunch of collectible items. They got broke," said daughter Carolin Clarke. "I was actually upset, crying. They mean a lot because my grandma is dead. She was actually basically my mom."

The Clark's say sorting through the mess is a frustrating process. However, unlike the dark soot covering their hands and what's left of their family keepsakes, the family is trying to see the bright side.

"I'm just glad our picture books didn't get burnt, because [those have] a lot of memories," said daughter Jasmine Clark.