Fire destroys orphaned kids home in Fla. Panhandle

WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (AP) - A Panhandle home that has sheltered orphaned and abandoned children for nearly two decades has been destroyed by fire.

The Florida Fire Marshal's Office is investigating how the Taunton Family Children's Home blaze started before dawn Wednesday. The family was out of town, and their three house guests were able to safely evacuate.

Damage was confined to the main home on the Taunton's 80-acre spread, which includes separate group homes for girls and boys.

The couple, David and Abigail Taunton, own a Panhandle building supply company bearing their last name. Their charity efforts have been recognized by Oprah Winfrey, whose Angel Network Support Foundation awarded the home a $50,000 grant in 2000.

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