Pets Rescued, Home Destroyed After Fire on Panama City Beach - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Pets Rescued, Home Destroyed After Fire on Panama City Beach

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Kimberly Howard wasn't at her home on Azalea Street and Hutchison Boulevard when she got a phone call from a neighbor.

"Because someone called her and said our house was on fire," said Howard. "I said I'm five minutes away."

What she came home to was a house teeming with smoke and firefighters. Her animals the only members of her family still home.

"And thank God somebody let our dogs out because we were able to get all four of them back," said Howard.

"We did find a few animals-- dogs and cats-- and we were able to remove them from the home and administer oxygen to the pets," said Lieutenant John Vann of the Panama City Beach Fire Department. "They are in pretty good shape now."

Firefighters battled the blaze and inclement weather during the incident. Panama City Beach Police helped detour traffic around the area.

"We just had a pretty strong thunderstorm roll through the area so we were kind of dealing with some weather when we first got here and some strong winds," said Vann. "But other than that it was a typical house fire that we normally see."

But not typical for Howard who says although she's lost her home she is thankful to rescuers.

"I'm really thankful, they were like a part of our family ," said Howard. "They are a part of our family.

"Now we've lost everything, but it would have been more hurtful to lose a family member."

Vann says the fire was isolated to the kitchen area. Although the weather finally broke for firefighters...for Howard nothing is clear after the days loss.

"I don't know where we start from here because it was just two days ago I just sent her my rent money and that was $1000," said Howard. "Now, I don't have anything left to my name and I don't know where to go or where to start again."

The fire is still under investigation. The family says they are still missing a cat who ran from the home. The cat is described as a gray tabby with a white belly and answers to the name "Zelda".