A family from West Virginia got a double dose of bad news recently.
First, the McNeal family’s cruise on the Carnival Dream was interrupted after the ship lost power at dock in St. Maarten in the eastern Caribbean.
So the family was flown back to the United States.
Then, on the drive back from Florida they learned their house was on fire.
The fire started Sunday morning.
Walter McNeal took the news hard.
“At about 2:30, I turned on my phone because the phones were in the suitcase, and all of a sudden my phone was blowing up … people were stating my house had caught on fire,” said McNeal. “I had to pull over to the side of the road because my blood pressure went up because I talked to the chief of police, I mean the chief of the fire department. I told him be there at a certain time, but I couldn’t make it.”
Fire officials said the home was about 40 percent engulfed when crews arrived.
The home’s second floor was significantly damaged.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
McNeal said he is glad his family is in good health and no one was hurt in the fire.