Martinez family homeless after lightning strikes home


MARTINEZ, Ga. (WJBF) – A Columbia County family is shaken and homeless after their house was struck by lightning, causing it to go up in flames.

Blue tarp covers the damage Thursday’s fire left behind which is a gaping hole in the Cox family’s roof after a lightning bolt hit their home.

Sharissa Cox says she and her husband Cody left the house a short time before heavy rains hit the Columbia County area that afternoon.

“I really kind of pushed him out the door. He really didn’t want to go,” said Sharissa Cox.

Her persistence paid off, getting them out of the home that would later be nothing but smoke, ashes and debris.

“Right as we get over here where you can see the house, from the trees, we saw the house and fire and at about that point I got hysterical. Anybody would it’s a traumatic incident. And he hadn’t even made it around the corner and I jumped out of the car and was running to the house,” said Sharissa Cox.

Now, the military couple, their children, including one on the way and their animals are homeless.

“It’s pretty hard, it’s hard trying to hold it together, especially when I’m inside, especially when she’s talking about it,” said Cody Cox.

For a family who gives so much to others, they say it’s surreal being on the other side.

“Because I help work on cars, we give clothes and we are always giving,” said Cody Cox.

Sharissa says she can’t walk through the home without emotions running high, seeing what they lost.

“Sadness, anger, just you’re reeling with everything and you’re trying to understand what you’ve really lost,” said Sharissa Cox.

Cody has his Navy family who’s been helping them through all of this.

“It’s a big help. I know one of the chiefs that i’ve deployed with got a lot of people to roger up and bring stuff. He supplied some uniforms that I needed,” said Cody Cox

The Cox family says it’s that amount of support from their military family and the community that’s helping them get through each minute of every day as they search through the debris for anything they may be able to save.

“It’s appreciated so much. Because to see my kids play with toys and see my kids able to have clothes on their back for school…you know this is something that we had provided for them and to watch that be taken away from me and my children was hard,” said Sharissa Cox.

Sharissa Cox says her husband’s grandmother recently passed away.

Inside the home were several pieces of his grandmother’s belongings that were in perfect condition after the fire and water damaged the home.

She tells Newschannel 6’s Ashley Campbell that she believes someone, perhaps her husband’s grandmother, was looking over them that day of the fire.

A Go Fund Me account has been set up for the Cox family so if you’d like to donate, you can click the link here:

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