Georgia and Paul Germond – and eventually all three of their cats – escaped the early-morning March 1 fire that consumed their home of more than 40 years at 698 Jamaica Blvd., Satellite Beach, silencing for now the Little House of Music, the name of ‘Miss G’s’ home-based business where hundreds of beachside kids have learned to play on her grand piano.
There were only a matter of minutes to react for Georgia Germond, a Grammy-nominated artist for Best Children’s album, who was already asleep when the first smoke alarm went off at about 12:40 a.m. She saw flames on the back porch, yelled for her husband, who was in a separate bathroom, and by that time all four fire alarms were going off.
The fire originated on the back porch near the spa and had been burning in the attic for some time when firefighters arrived. They fought the fire from the interior for about 20 minutes before deciding it was too dangerous to continue, said Capt. Jay Dragon of the Satellite Beach Fire Department. Assisting on the two-alarm call was Indian Harbour Beach Volunteer Fire Department and Brevard County Fire Rescue. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“I could see the flames on the patio. It didn’t take long at all. By the time I got to the front door the black smoke was there with me,’’ she said.
As Georgia Germond fled the house, Paul had the foresight to back the family’s two cars out of the garage to keep them from exploding because of the gas.
As for the cats, the couple’s male cat was slightly burned and rescued by firefighters on the scene that night, singed and partially covered in soot. The second cat came out with a fireman a day later, soaking wet, prompting a healthy and deserved cry of happiness among friends, she said.
Both cats were given treatment and are expected to survive. The third cat, obviously also very much alive, has been seen and nearly caught and now is being live-trapped at the home.
“Everybody made it out, including the cats. I guess they only have eight lives left now,’’ Dragon said.
The couple has been inundated with well wishes and offers of help, many from her music students and their parents, but also coming from complete strangers who had just heard about the devastating fire.
Georgia Germond said she is not just surprised about the more than 400 text messages and phone calls since the fire, she’s flabbergasted. Also going strong to help the Germonds with expenses is a gofundme.com web page (gofundme.com/germond-family-house-fire).
“Everyone has shown us love. I just get very tearful. It’s beautiful. It’s a shame everybody can’t live together like this,’’ she said.
The music lessons will resume in a couple weeks with a new piano in a condo located nearby. “What I’ve learned through all this is I think all of us have too much stuff and that is not what matters in life,’’ she said.