Smoke from Jacksonville fire suffocates neighbor's cats


JACKSONVILLE (KYTX) - A Jacksonville couple is working to move forward after a fire destroyed a business connected to the back of their loft Sunday morning.

Pictures and memories are all Steve and Jenni Cudd have left of their pet cats Coconut and Uno.

"That lost is more devastating to us than any worldly possession because relationships are the most important thing," said Mrs. Cudd.

The loft is set up with a warehouse connected on the bottom floor in the back of the building. That's where the two cats were locked in for the night. When the restaurant caught fire, it filled the warehouse with smoke.

She said, "We see a movement in the corner of our eye and we assume it's him or we hear a noise and we think it's him and its not."

The Cudds were sleeping when the fire at the Yum Yum's restaurant started. They only woke up when they heard banging, possibly from firefighters.

"There were three firemen rushing into our bedroom telling us you gotta leave," said Mr. Cudd.

The restaurant and the warehouse where the cats were share a common wall. The family said, they're shocked the fire didn't get through the wall.

Mr. Cudd said, "So I just opened it and it was just full of smoke I couldn't see anything, I couldn't even see five feet, it was just all gray smoke."

The smoke was so thick he said he wasn't sure if the warehouse was on fire. He said, he and his wife needed to get out.

"I just screamed fire in some voice that was not my own and he said calm down get dressed and I just started frantically trying to get dressed," said Mrs. Cudd.

The couple stood on the sidewalk watching the fire as crews battled the blaze. Their cats were on their minds.

Despite their lost, they are grateful for their blessings and that they still have one another.


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