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Crews Respond to Overnight Fire in Seacrest Beach

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December 26, 2023 | FLORIDA MACKENZIE MCCLINTOCK, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

SEACREST BEACH, FL - South Walton Fire District (SWFD) firefighters responded to a residential structure fire early Tuesday morning, December 26, 2023. on Sandal Lane in Seacrest Beach. The work of first-arriving crews ensured the fire did not spread beyond the area of origin. 

SWFD dispatchers fielded the 911 call at approximately 2:00 A.M. The caller stated smoke and flames were visible from a residential structure’s third-floor patio. Station 1 crews, which are currently upstaffed due to the closure at the Deer Lake Bridge, arrived onscene at 2:06 A.M. and confirmed a working fire on the third-floor.  

They faced immediate access issues due to multiple fence lines surrounding the corner unit where the fire was located, however, they overcame the obstacles by utilizing a fixed master stream from Engine 1. The master stream allowed firefighters to put water on the fire in less than one minute after their arrival, while also knocking the bulk of the fire down from the exterior. 

Station 1 firefighters worked around the fence lines to find multiple cars in the driveway, but they did not see any occupants outside. Crews then performed an aggressive, interior search for victims before eventually locating the occupants at a neighboring residence. The occupants confirmed everyone had made it out of the structure safely. 

Crews worked for approximately 40 minutes before the fire was out. A total of 22 SWFD personnel responded to the scene, along with a mutual aid crew from Bay County Fire Rescue. 

Firefighters determined a grill located within an outdoor kitchen on the third-floor patio was the most likely cause of the fire. The patio suffered significant damage, however, the rest of the structure, and the occupants’ belongings, were saved. 

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