ALVA, Fla. - Jody Kliscz's family spent Thursday picking up the pieces after a fire gutted her parents' home early Wednesday morning.
"The house is completely gone," Kliscz told WINK News anchor Cayle Thompson. "The outside walls might remain, but nothing else."
An investigator with the insurance company tells WINK News the cause of the fire may be linked to a golf cart in the garage. It wasn't what Kliscz expected to hear.
"It's not something you think about being able to cause something like this," she said.
But a reconstruction consultant tells WINK News golf carts are to blame for more fires in Florida than many people realize.
"You have to think about the way a golf cart is designed," says Timothy Wilson of Tampa-based Restoration Unlimited. Wilson will oversee the restoration of the Alva home.
"[Golf carts] run off a battery, or multiple batteries that are highly combustible," Wilson said, adding one home a day is lost in Florida to a golf cart fire, on average.
The cause is usually an oversight on the part of homeowners who leave carts plugged in too long, causing batteries to overcharge and overheat.
"If you have a golf cart, put it outside your home or charge it during the day when everybody is awake and knows what's going on," Wilson said.
Additionally, FEMA reports instances of overcharged golf carts releasing hydrogen gas, which can be explosive is exposed to an ignition source.
The official cause of the fire has yet to be released. Wilson estimates the home sustained approximately 200-thousand dollars in damage.