WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – A Walton County man lost everything in the May 6 wildfire that destroyed 33 homes.
Stone Shipes said he was in the middle of moving furniture when he smelled what he thought was someone barbecuing. After realizing it was more, he and his roommate ran across the street to watch the Mussett Bayou fire from the end of the road.
Shipes said it wasn’t long before he and his roommate were told to get out themselves.
“We left within five minutes, all I did was just grab my dog.”
“We were the last vehicles to go southbound on Thompson,” Shipes said.
Shipes said it’s been a rough several years, he lost his mother in 2016, and then his father in 2018. Most of their valuables were destroyed in the fire, along with his parents’ ashes.
“I did not think to grab them out because I didn’t think the fire would really hit this house,” Shipes said. “I was a little naive about it at first but I was also hopeful it wouldn’t.”
Shipes said he lost a lot of his personal belongings but it was the loss of his parents’ remains that is hard to accept.
“You know stuff is stuff, but I never got to spread their ashes the way they wanted to be spread. And that is going to hurt for a little while,” Shipes said.
Shipes said he is grateful he had time to grab his dog, Murphy, before leaving his home.
“He’s been able to help me through a lot of this,” Shipes said.
Shipes and his roommate have started a Go Fund me in hopes to recoup some of their material loss.
If you would like to contribute to their fund, click here