House that a family called home for 4 decades goes up in flames

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A family of eight escaped an early morning house fire on Tuesday. FOX 4’s Melissa Stern sat down with the family afterwards where they talked about their emotions and the challenges they now face.

“Everybody was in the bed asleep. I remember waking up to the smell of smoke and then I heard one of the people that were in the house with me that said the house was on fire,” Geneva Jones explained.

Geneva and seven other people, her fiancé, four children and two grandchildren, were all able to escape a burning home at 69th and South Benton around 2:30 a.m. when the fire started in the attic. The cause of the blaze is still unknown.

“He came in the room and he was like, ‘bro, get up, it's a fire, it's a fire, look on the ceiling,’ and I looked up, and there were flames on the ceiling,” Sean Jones recalled.

“When I got up and ran into the kitchen, which is where I saw the orange glow behind the actual wall of the kitchen, I then ran outside to the front porch. When I got there I saw the entire roof was on fire,” Geneva said.

Their home, which had been part of their family for more than 40 years, is destroyed.

“I grew up in the house, my sister grew up in the house, my kids were raised in the house,” Geneva said.

Jones said they watched their home go up in flames as fire fighters battled the fire for hours,” Geneva said.

There was nothing that we could do,” Geneva said.

“Dang, I've been living here for so long, I didn't expect anything to happen like that,” Sean said.

The Jones family didn't have time to grab their belongings, but they went back later on Tuesday to see if there was anything they could salvage.

“I went back this morning just to actually see, and it brought tears to my eyes, I literally broke down again. Everything is a total loss,” Geneva said. “We've got to try to figure out how we're going to make it from here on out.”

Geneva said she's just thankful everyone is safe.

“I'm just thankful that everybody was able to get out, we don't have any deaths or anything, we're not mourning,” she said. “We're upset, because the house burned up of course, but we have God on our side, and we know that everything is going to be okay.”

The family couldn't save anything. They do have insurance, but say it's a long process. The Red Cross set them up in hotel for the night and Wednesday. After that, they say they don't know what they're going to do.