Pensacola man’s decision to grocery shop, let his lizard out before fire saves their lives

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A Pensacola man believes he is lucky to be alive after a fire destroyed his home Monday afternoon.

At about 12:45 p.m., more than 10 fire engines from the Escambia County Fire Rescue and Pensacola Fire Department responded to a fire at 106 Frisco Road in Pensacola. The blaze left Stephen Turski’s suite behind his mother’s house a total loss.

An hour earlier, Turski said his neighbor asked him if he wanted to go to Walmart with him. He was reluctant at first, telling his neighbor he didn’t feel well. He ended up going along.

He returned to find his home charred. Neighbors said they heard what sounded like an explosion before the house went up in flames.

“Luckily I wasn’t in there. I should’ve been in there,” Turski told his neighbor. “If y’all hadn’t taken me to Walmart, I could be dead in there right now.”

Also lucky was Turski’s pet bearded dragon Little Buddy or LB for short. Turski let LB outside before he went to Walmart.

“He’s a survivor!” Turski said, while holding LB.

“I might have lost a house, but I didn’t lose my life or my best friend,” he added, telling LB he was going to sleep outside “all the time now.”

Turski believes his hot water heater is to blame for the fire, but investigators will try to determine a definitive cause. No one was hurt in the fire.

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