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Neighbors helping Kernersville family after fire destroys home, kills beloved pet

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — It only took 16 minutes for flames to consume the Nance family house Saturday afternoon.

It was around 3 p.m. when a fire sparked in the garage port of the house on Horse Creek Run. Within seconds the fire had destroyed a riding lawnmower and vintage car and traveled up the walls and into the attic.

The owner, making a split second decision, went to grab the fire extinguisher to try and fight the blaze, but it had grown too hot.

Thinking of his family, he rushed in to warn his wife and daughter. They quickly began to scramble to round up their three dogs and one cat.

For them, the three dogs were easy to catch. The cat, however, was spooked by the commotion and ran to hide in a room.

As the fire spread throughout the attic, the flames began to creep down the walls of the house as it filled with heavy black smoke.

Any chance the Nance family had of running inside to grab anything else, like clothes, memorabilia or their cat, was now lost.

Within 11 minutes, 10 different fire agencies were on scene and beginning a massive assault to fight the fire.

The Nance family watched helplessly in the front yard as the house they had made a home for more than 20 years turned to ash.

“We all just love them,” one neighbor told FOX8 crews just two days after the fire. “We all just really want to help them in anyway we can.”

The Nance family made it out with three dogs, a pet snake, one cell phone, one wallet and the clothes on their backs.

Their neighbors have started a GoFundMe page, titled "Home fire relief for Nance family," in hopes of helping them get back on their feet, and to get those essential needs such as clothes and toiletries.

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