A husband and wife in The Villages are lucky to be alive and are sifting through the ashes in the wake of a fire that consumed their home.
Their two dogs, Oreo and Blackie, also survived the blaze that broke out March 9 at their home at 3000 Luraville Road in the Village of Gilchrist.
The fire destroyed the residence of Jim and Christine Noonan, who moved here a few months ago from Illinois.
Christine was awakened at 3 a.m. by the screech of a smoke detector and quickly grabbed her phone and dialed 911. She simultaneously tried to hustle her husband and the dogs out of the home.
“In the nick of time,” she said.
The Villages Public Safety Department quickly arrived on the scene and rescued one of the dogs. The other dog escaped with the Noonans.
The home is a total loss. The couple is working with their insurance company which is also investigating the cause of the fire.
The powerful blaze erupted in the garage and destroyed two cars and their gasoline-powered golf cart, which was parked in the golf cart garage. A red Mustang which was parked in the driveway was spared, but the heat from the flames melted part of the car’s front bumper.
Not much has been salvageable although they unearthed some clothing which had been wrapped in plastic.
The Noonans purchased the home this past May, but it wasn’t until December that they made the move from Mokena, Ill. to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
The one who suffered the most physical damage was their dog, Oreo, who spent the night in an animal hospital. Neighbors have been helping by allowing the dogs to stay with them. The couple has been lodged at a hotel.
Christine Noonan works at the new Brownwood restaurant Harvest. The restaurant group is sponsoring a benefit carwash for the Noonans from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, March 21 at Advanced Auto Parts at 4243 E. County Road 466 in Oxford. A donation of $10 is sought for each car that is washed.