WWII vet loses everything after lightning strikes Englewood home

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ENGLEWOOD, Fla.- A heartbreaking image taken two weeks ago shows 94-year-old Navy veteran Charles Murdock watching from afar, unable to do anything but stand by as his home inside the Holiday Travel Park community burned to the ground.

A lightning bolt struck the World War II veteran’s house as Tropical Storm Colin raced through the Englewood area, sending it up in flames.

“Opened the door and got a blast of smoke and fire in my face, so I closed the door quick!”

Murdock escaped with only the clothes on his back and a flashlight in his hand.

“It went up so fast, you wouldn’t believe how fast it went up.”

All of Murdock’s memories are now a pile of mangled metal and charred rubble.

“It’s been heart wrenching to see somebody go through that and to lose everything,” said Deborah Roeber, a neighbor who heard the lightning strike.

Roeber and a few other neighbors stepped up to take care of the war hero’s basic needs but he still needs more help.

They’d like to see Murdock rebuild his life on the same lot he has lived on for so many years, “the big ticket items we would like to see for Charlie are a trailer, a car, a shed,” Roeber added.

Two fundraisers will soon be held to help the WWII veteran. The first takes place on June 25 at noon at VFW Post 10178, 550 North McCall Road, in Englewood. Call 941-474-7516 for more information.

The second event is happening on July 10 at the Gulf Cove Moose Lodge, 4212 North Access Road, in Englewood.

Donations can also be made at any Chase Bank to an account for Charles E. Murdock created by Linda Miller.

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