FL Panhandle Wildfire Destroys One Home and Damages 15 Others

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A wildfire in the Florida Panhandle has destroyed a home and damaged at least 15 others.

The Florida Forest Service said Friday that the blaze, which broke out Thursday near Pensacola, was now more than 60% contained over an area of 50 acres (20 hectares). No injuries were reported.

Spring is the height of wildfire season in the Southeast, before summer brings humidity and drenching thunderstorms to the Gulf Coast.

The cause of the fire was unknown and remained under investigation.

Homes were evacuated Thursday in some parts of Escambia County north of Pensacola Naval Air Station. A few people stayed overnight in a shelter at a church.

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The Florida Forest Service used bulldozers and plows to cut fire lines, and crews were patrolling the perimeter.

“They’re continuing to mop up around some of the homes that are showing some heat nearby,” Blackwater Forestry Center’s Operations Administrator David Smith told the Pensacola News Journal. “But there are no threats at this time.”

The fire melted vinyl siding off some homes in neighboring subdivisions.

Jeremy Mixon told WEAR-TV that his home is currently unlivable.

“Oh man, inside there’s smoke damage in there real bad,” Mixon said.

Another resident, Schye McGruder, feared losing her house as flames roared high up in the trees.

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“I didn’t even walk off my porch and just turned around, and they were just over the roof, it was so bad. It was terrible. I was frightened. I was so scared,” McGruder said.

A separate fire to the west near Pascagoula, Mississippi, caused blowing smoke across Interstate 10, contributing to four crashes around 1 a.m. Saturday. State Highway Patrol spokesperson Cal Robertson told WLOX-TV that three of the crashes involved two vehicles, while one involved four vehicles. Three of the crashes caused injuries, but no one was killed.

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A wildfire in the Florida Panhandle has destroyed a home and damaged at least 15 others. The Florida Forest Service said Friday that the blaze, which broke out Thursday near Pensacola, was now more than 60% contained over an area of 50 acres (20 hectares). No injuries were reported. Spring is […]

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