[PHOTO CREDIT: Provided]
[Original Publish Date: 02/21/20]
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UMATILLA, Florida — A mom, two of her children and three dogs escaped a devastating fire Thursday night, but the home they built nearly 20 years ago is a total loss.
Ronnie Bush told Lake Legal News his wife Robin and son Gavin, 12, and daughter Dakota, 13, were at their home on Louise Road off County Road 439 when Gavin saw a “ball of fire” in the dining room and alerted his mom and brother. The family escaped the home with their three dogs, but four cats are still missing, Bush said. According to a Umatilla Fire Department Facebook post, they, along with Lake County Fire Rescue, Mount Dora Fire Department, Tavares Fire Department and Lake EMS responded to the blaze.
The Bush’s have a total of 10 children and six of them still live at home. Along with Gavin and Dakota, Michelle, 18; David, 17; Tony, 15; and Shyanne, also 15, all live at home. Two of the Bush children have special needs. Their four other children are Keri, Renee, Crystal and Sandra. Ronnie and Robin Bush fostered children for years and some of their children are adopted, Bush said. “We love them.”
The Red Cross reached out to the family and Bush said they will likely stay with family or friends for the time being. They family does have insurance, but they have many immediate needs. They lost everything and are in need of clothing, hygiene items, blankets and pet food. To see a complete list of needs, visit the Sorrento Wolves Special Olympics Team Facebook page.
Bush said he does not know an official cause of the fire that destroyed the home, “a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into,” but he has his suspicions. “I had 10 brand new [Rigid lithium batteries.] They were still in the package and there were six or seven older ones there,” Bush said. “You hear of those batteries catching on fire, but you never think it’s going to happen .” The batteries were stored in the same area where Gavin saw the “ball of fire.”
Bush, sounding defeated as he spoke to LLN just after 1:30 a.m. Friday, is grateful his family is safe. “I’m just glad it hit when it did,” Bush said, ”not at 2 o’clock in the morning. That would have been a big mess.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]