I just spoke to him, and he sounded shaken and still in a state of shock. He thinks the water heater caused the blaze. His daughter heard the smoke detectors and got the kids out. Both parents apparently were at work.
The clothes on their backs are all they have left.
He has good insurance, it sounds like. They should put him in a hotel immediately and an apartment or bigger living space as soon as he finds one during the rebuilding process.
I tell everyone this. You really, really need to take a video camera and go through every room of your house, make a very, very slow pan of the room, open the closet doors, go very, very slow. His biggest aggravation now will be listing every single thing that was in that house in order to claim it on his insurance. If you're going by memory, you'll miss thousands of dollars in stuff you can claim.
And give the tape to someone else to keep, or it will burn with your stuff, God forbid you should have a fire.
I told him RedsBaron had a thread up, and he said thanks for everyone's prayers and well wishes.