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Elderly Clearwater couple loses nearly everything in New Year's Day house fire

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-10 23:35:47-05

CLEARWATER, Fla. — An older couple in Clearwater is having to start over after a fire engulfed their home on New Year’s Day.

This is what’s left of the home, Jakie Gadson, 85, and his wife, 76-year-old Gladys, lived in, for more than two decades. Built back in 1952, it was where they hosted family reunions, and gatherings.

“Having the children come down anytime and all time and having big gatherings those were the good memories. That’s what we’re missing now,” said Gladys Gadson.

In minutes the home and the memories it held, was engulfed in flames on New Year’s Day. The couple had just finished eating a New Year's dinner, when Jakie noticed a fire in the Florida room.

“We had glass between the Florida room and the dining room. It was plate glass and I saw a little flame and I called Gladys, and told her that the house on fire,” Jakie said.

They were able to quickly escape as the fire spread to the garage. “Blessed, just blessed to be out,” Gladys said.

The parts of the house that weren’t burned, sustained smoke and water damage, leaving the Gadson’s with nearly nothing. They don’t have insurance and are now figuring out how to rebuild. This is not how the Gadson's ever imagined bringing in 2021.

“We just said we just want to have a quiet time and that’s what we did. For this to happen now, we just can't explain it,” added Gladys.

As they look through pictures that survived the fire, their hope is to one day create new memories, in a new home.

Their family has started a GoFundMe to help the Gadson's replace basic necessities, such as clothes, food and also help them rebuild.