CRESTVIEW — Lightning likely caused the fire that destroyed a Painter Branch Road home this afternoon while Ronald Bray and his wife, Young, were away.
Fire officials were called to the residence around 2:30 p.m. after neighbors contacted volunteer firefighters from Dorcas.
Bray and his wife were at Big Kahuna's Water Park in Destin when they learned their home was engulfed in flames.
Firefighters rescued the couple's dog ─ Jill, a chocolate Labrador ─ which was inside the home during the fire.
Once the dog was free from the burning house, firefighters couldn't corral the scared animal. The dog then ran off into the neighborhood.
"Hopefully the dog is okay," Bray said.
In addition to the home being totaled, a family sport utility vehicle was heavily damaged. The home and vehicle are insured, Bray said.
Bray said he and his wife will stay at a local hotel for the time being.
"Hopefully the insurance company will cover this," he said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.