Holiday family mourns loss of house, dogs

Holiday Florida -- A family in Pasco County is left to mourn the loss of its two dogs and its home after a lightning strike hit the house Wednesday morning.

Pasco Fire Rescue says it received a call of a house fire around 10:14 a.m. on Eagle Drive in Holiday. Fire units arrived minutes later to see the house fully engulfed in flames.

Just before, neighbors said they heard a lightning strike that shook their homes.

"I don't care about the house it will be put back together eventually just want my puppies back," said a sobbing Bill Stevens.

The dogs -- 3-year-old boxer named Pugs and 13-year-old rescued greyhound named Echo -- never made it out of the burning structure that officials say was started by a direct lightning strike.

The Stevens family has lived in the home for 30 years. And, even though it looks like a total loss, Stevens said what hurts most is the loss of their loving pets.

"I just miss kids," Stevens said.

For son Ben, seeing his parents' home burned is heartbreaking.

"Oh it's horrible, man. I mean I grew up in this house I spent the first 18 years of my life in this house," he said.

"It's really the only kind of house he knows so everything they remember from childhood just got burned up," said Bill Stevens.

What started out as a normal day for the family became one they will never forget.

"You go to work never thinking, you know, a typical Florida storm with thunder and lightning is going to hit your house and burn it down," Stevens said.

The family, which is working with the Red Cross, said the house is insured and they intend to rebuild.

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