A house was destroyed by a fire on Sunday evening, Nov. 24, just south of Varn Park in unincorporated Flagler County. The house, a vacation rental property, was unoccupied at the time. For more photos, click here.
“We watched the thing fall, man,” said Eddie Anzalone Jr., who lives at 3518 N. Oceanshore Blvd., just across the street from 3519. “It was wild. I’ve never seen something like this in my life.”
Firefighters from the Flagler County, Palm Coast and Flagler Beach departments all helped douse the flames. The FireFlight helicopter also carried water above the neighbors’ homes to prevent the fire from spreading.
Anzalone, 37, said his mother first saw the fire, and then the whole family went outside to watch. The winds peaked at about 40 mph. It was a cool evening, but as the flames shot three stories into the air, and one palm tree was suddenly engulfed in flames, the heat from across the street was intense.
“We took our jackets off it was so hot,” he said.
The last time he remembers seeing the house occupied was a few weeks ago during the Tommy Tant surf festival. But although there was no danger of anyone being injured inside the home, the winds caused concern that the surrounding areas could catch fire, as well.
In fact, crews fought fires on both sides of the street, and about one acre of brush was burned, according to Carl Laundrie, Flagler County communications manager.
Anzalone also recalled seeing a fire on the power pole.
“The transformer was on fire,” he said. “It was burning for about 25-30 minutes. All the wires crackled, and it was like fireworks were going off.”
At about 5:30 p.m., a bucket truck arrived to address the power lines that were sagging across the street. Power was out on the block and was not predicted to return before dawn the next morning.
Laundrie added that until the county addressed the issue about two years ago, there were no fire hydrants in the area. He suggested that the damage could have been much worse.
“Without the hydrants, you couldn't keep a sustained attack on it,” he said.