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Homes Lost to Wildfire

May 9th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Dozens of panhandle residents are still out of their homes tonight in south Walton County. 3 homes were destroyed and perhaps a dozen more suffered damage when a freak wildfire started late Tuesday afternoon in Seagrove Beach. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, officials are still trying to figure out what happened.

Hear it here: Seagrove Beach Fires

18 hours after the fire began, first responders were still dousing one of three homes consumed by flames that claimed some houses but spared others. Michelle Edwards was one of the lucky ones. Were ok we got pretty lucky. Just some smoke damage on the inside and water damage from where they wet everything down. says Edwards.

Pristine homes surrounded by charred trees serve as a vivid reminder of how narrowly disaster was averted. Bill Ingram says his prayers were answered. I mean, its a miracle it really is a miracle. The firemen said that the flames were shooting 60 feet in the air when they drove up to this place. They said that these shouldnt be standing.

Some renters in this resort area were forced to move elsewhere. Sean Hughes, the Deputy Chief for the South Walton Fire Department says if it wasnt for residents helping out, damage would have been even more widespread. You know, the garden hose was going helping the guys directing the guys in. As we were rolling in, the smoke conditions were you couldnt even see the whole subdivision, so they were kind of directing out guys in you know this house is on fire, this one is gonna be next kind of thing. says Hughes.

These charred home sites are proof that trying to live in a naturally wooded area isnt always a good idea. State disaster planners have issued what they call a red flag warning for the eastern panhandle because of high winds and low humidity.

Posted in Charlie Crist, McCollum, State News | 2 Comments »

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