Family Home Catches Fire Following Hurricane Damage

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The recovery in Florida following Hurricane Ian is slow.  There is so much damage in parts of Fort Myers, Naples and North Port, it may take years to get back to normal.  One family, originally from Upstate New York, thought Ian had mostly spared their home from any major structural damage but tragically, they were wrong. 

News10NBC first introduced you to Jillian and Brian Treadway as Hurricane Ian was barreling toward their home in North Port Florida. Jillian Treadway is a childhood friend of News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke who grew up in the Syracuse area. 

The Treadways told News10NBC at the time, they were doing everything they could to prepare, “we’ve got the front (of the home) all boarded up and everything…and we’ve got things tied down, what we could…if we couldn’t… it is what it is,” Jillian said. 

They were bracing to ride-out the storm with their daughter Teagan and even had an interior room ready, “we are ready to take the Great Dane, the three cats, the teenager and us and hunker down if we have to,” Jillian said. 

They ended up having to do that and thankfully, they all made it through safely.  When the storm was over and they were able to assess the damage, their neighborhood was hit hard.

The Treadways went days without power, cell service, internet…once they cleaned up what they thought was mostly cosmetic damage to their home and yard, they spent days helping their neighbors try to do the same.   

On Wednesday evening, North Port got its first hard rain since the Hurricane and the Treadways found out the damage to their home was not superficial.  A leak in the roof allowed rain to pour into an electrical box in Teagan’s room, the family came home to a house engulfed in smoke and flames.  Their three cats, Tinkerbell, Ernest and Rain and their Great Dane, Star who all made it through the hurricane, died of smoke inhalation. 

The home itself still stands but the inside is gutted.  Jillian comes from a family of first responders, she is a 911 dispatcher and her father was a firefighter.  He taught her to shut the door behind her when she left a room which may have prevented the entire home from burning to the ground. 

For now the Treadways are staying with family while they figure out what’s next.  Because there is so much damage in and around the area, the insurance companies are behind in taking and processing claims so, like thousands of other homeowners in Florida right now, they’re in limbo. 

If you’d like to help the Treadways, their GoFundMe page is here.

Help Florida hurricane victims here. And, here.