SEBRING — Firefighters in Highlands County have been very busy of late with both structure fires and brush fires as well as their usual calls. Wednesday afternoon proved to be no exception with two separate fires that destroyed residences and one causing a brush fire.
Both fires happened just about 2 p.m. The City of Sebring Fire Department was dispatched to a fire on Orange Blossom Avenue, in the Highlands Homes area, and was on scene within four minutes, according to Captain Austin Maddox. When they arrived, the home was engulfed in flames, especially in the front and left side of the home. Maddox said the home was a total loss and the fire is under investigation from the fire marshal. While there were no injuries to the residents or firefighters, two dogs died in the fire.
“The fire was very hot, very quick,” Maddox said.
The home next door was also in danger. Maddox estimated the distance between the homes as about 20 feet. The radiant heat from the house fire melted the siding of the neighboring home. Firefighters were able to get a line in quickly and protect the other home.
Highlands County EMS was on the call in case they were needed as well.
Maddox said the City of Sebring Fire Department trains hard and often to ensure quick and appropriate responses to many circumstances that can arise.
Very shortly after the Orange Blossom fire was dispatched, Highlands County Fire Rescue units were dispatched to the south end of the county for another structure fire. This time, it was a mobile home on the 100 block of EA Smith Avenue in Highway Park, a subdivision of Lake Placid.
The residence fire also resulted in a brush fire off McCoy Drive that was contained. The home was a total loss, according to HCFR Chief Marc Bashoor. The loss was estimated at $20,000. No injuries were reported in that fire.
HCFR units on scene were Lake Placid 36, Placid Lakes Volunteer Fire Department 39, and Sun n Lakes 41.