BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Samantha Bolds stood outside her home Thursday, the first time she's been back since it was destroyed in a fire days earlier.
"This is the first time I have seen it. We lost everything in that house," an emotional Bolds told FOX 35 in an exclusive interview on Thursday. She said her family had minutes, if not seconds to escape after it caught fire Wednesday, adding that it was their 14-year-old who noticed the fire and woke everyone up.
"It is the most terrifying experience of my life," she said.
Video showed the home engulfed in flames with fire and smoke billowing into the air.
"In the heat of everything I panicked, and we eventually got trapped," she said. "Every time I tried to escape the room, I just kept getting smacked in the face with clouds of black smoke."
She said the 14-year-old woke her up, his dad, and their two-year-old daughter.
"It came down to a split-second decision of, if I don’t get out now, we are never going to get out," she said. Brevard County Fire Rescue said firefighters arrived about 10 minutes after the fire started and said it was a team effort that saved this family.
The cause is believed to have been an electrical fire, though specifics were not immediately clear.
Bolds said her family lost everything in the fire. All that remained Thursday was a shell of the house they lived in. The inside and outside were heavily charred. Still, she's thankful for everyone who tried to help.
"I just want to say thank you to everybody. The woman that attempted to run into the house, I thank you for trying to save me and my daughter," she said.
Bolds said she is receiving financial help to get her family back on their feet. They're working on planning their next steps, she said.