WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Mussett Bayou wildfire moved across parts of Walton County starting on Wednesday, destroying at least 33 structures in its path.
One of the homes destroyed belonged to a young couple who recently had a baby.
Nick Shaw and his girlfriend Cassidy Clemenson were at their home on Wednesday evening with their six-month-old daughter, Shaw’s brother and their dog. Shaw says they knew the fire was burning but didn’t think it would affect them.
“We all think it’s fine because there’s no way it would jump 40 feet across a road,” said Shaw.
However, minutes later a law enforcement officer knocked on the door.
“He just sweat running down his face because he’s running through the smoke, you can tell and he asked how many people were in the house and just tells us to get out and then you look out the back door, we have giant pine trees starting to catch flames,” Shaw said.
The couple said seeing how frantic and serious the officer was actually scared them to see and from there, they grabbed what they could and ran to the car.
While they are material things, Clemenson says there are some items they lost that are just irreplaceable.
“With me it’s hard because I have her ultra sounds and stuff like that that just went up in flames and those aren’t things you can replace but it’s good still knowing that I have those memories,” Clemenson said.
The couple just finished making some improvements to their home before moving in just three days ago.
“We just got our living room set up, all our furniture, everything we had belonged burned in that house,” Shaw said.
While the times may be tough, the new parents are remaining optimistic but can’t ignore the reality.
“At certain times you’re like okay, this is where I start, a clean slate. I’ve got to start new right here but then you start to think about all you lost,” Clemenson said.
Shaw says though they have already started getting help from those around them.
“They showed up within 3 hours of us finding out we didn’t have a house anymore with a new crib and all sorts of new baby stuff for her. Clothes for us. Trash cans. So I mean it’s like we didn’t even skip a beat.”
The family will be staying with another family member until they can find a permanent place for them.
Overall, he says they are just are thankful he, his wife, daughter, family, and others across the area are all alive.