Devastating house fire in the Oakleaf Plantation neighborhood has left a single mom and her kids without a home

CLAY, Fla. — A devastating house fire Wednesday in the Oakleaf Plantation neighborhood has left a single mom and her six kids without their home.

Kevin Francis, a nearby neighbor, is being praised for saving the family’s lives. Action News Jax spoke exclusively with Francis and the mother of six, Carla Jean-Francois.

Francis recalled Jean-Francois’ youngest child run up to him asking for help, saying that her family was inside the home while it was going up in flames.

“Halfway up the driveway I hit a wall of heat where I thought my clothes were going to ignite,” Francis recalled.

Once inside, he was met with thick black smoke. Jean-Francois, who’s a night nurse, was fast asleep upstairs.

“I’m so grateful that he was there helping us,” she said about Francis.

When praised for his courage and selflessness, Francis said, “I wasn’t thinking, I’ll be honest with you, I think if I thought about it I’m not sure I would have. But it’s one of these situations where there’s this little girl, she’s my daughter’s age, maybe a little younger. And she’s like, ‘my family’.”

Family -- it’s what the Jean-Francois’ cherish now more than ever before.

Jean-Francois says she and her children have friends and family to stay with, but they still need a lot of help. You can donate here:

mobile apps

Everything you love about and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!