Orlando Fire says a family of eight was traveling north for the holidays when a fire broke out in their RV.
Video shared by the department shows flames shooting into the air.
“We came around the back side over here and there was a very large column of smoke coming from over the top of Orange Blossom Trail and over the tops of the buildings,” said firefighter Scott Butschek.
Officials say the family stopped in Orlando to fill their propane tank Friday afternoon when for some reason, a fire broke out. They say people in nearby buildings were evacuated and it got so hot, part of a sign near the blaze melted.
Amazingly, Orlando Fire says everyone got out of the RV okay. But a lot of their belongs burned up inside.
“Once we realized that there was a large family of eight that was traveling from Miami up to Virginia. They had to have a place to go, they had to have a place to stay,” Butschek explained.
He says he decided to offer up his home to all eight people and their dog.
“You gotta have something, you gotta have a fall back, right? My home is open right now, it’s Christmas time, it’s got plenty of room. And I believe that it’s just a nice thing to do,” he said.
With the fall back in place, the Red Cross was also called in. “We showed up so the EMT doesn’t have to do that,” said Leo Alvarez with the Red Cross. “What we’ve done, is we’ve given them immediate assistance, which is basically some help to take care of their living expenses short term and also to take care of lodging for them over the weekend.”
The family picked up what they were able to save before heading to a hotel for the night.
It was a scary start to the holiday but people in Orlando are promising to get them the help they need.
Officials have not said how the fire started, but say it’s been ruled accidental.