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Neighbors help couple escape flames of Nativity fire in Stuart

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On Sunday morning the scent of smoke was still pretty strong in an neighborhood in southwest Stuart where a large nativity scene once stood.

Less than 10 feet away is the mobile home that also caught fire as Joann Wilson and her husband were getting ready to ring in the New Year.

"Somebody was knocking on the door, saying there's fire, there's fire, get out," Wilson said.

Flames shot up into the sky as a popular nativity scene near Wilson's home burned to the ground.

Neighbors rushing to Wilson's rescue. They helped her and her husband escape before the fire spread to the mobile home.

"It burnt the trees. Fire was in the wall of the mobile home and they had to strip the siding off to get to the wood and you can see where it is all charged in there," Wilson said.

The fire, so intense, it melted the rims off a parked car across the street.

Wilson and her husband stood outside their home and watched as firefighters battled the blaze.

Now all that's left of the popular nativity scene is a a charred manger frame, burned barrels and debris scattered across the lot.

As for Wilson's mobile home, there's extensive smoke and structure damage.

On Sunday morning, Wilson received some assistance from the American Red Cross plus a visit from one of the neighbors who saved their lives.

"One of them came back this morning just to make sure we were okay and I thanked them again," Wilson said.

Despite losing their home on the first day of the year, Wilson is feeling optimistic about the future.

"We can only go upward for 2017," Wilson said.

Fire officials in Martin County are investigating the cause of the fire.

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Wilson said a business woman who owns Castro Interiors puts up the display every year.

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