Fire guts home on 30A

DEBORAH WHEELER 267-4555 | @WaltonSunDeb

Deborah Moore and her husband were returning home from dinner out Thursday night when they decided to turn onto a dirt road just off 30A to look at a property that is for sale.

When they turned onto the dirt road, they saw flames at the back of a large, three-story house that fronts 30A.

The couple saw no one with the fire and the house was dark. They immediately dialed 911.

"It appeared the flames were outside but going inside," Deborah said Friday morning. "The fire department was here within about a minute, so, someone must have already called them."

Walton County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, Corey Dobridnia, said the call came in about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night about the fire in the 5700 block of W. County Road 30A.

"When WCSO and firefighters arrived on scene, the structure was fully involved," said Dobridnia.

Sheriff's deputies closed the road for several hours while South Walton Fire, aided by units from Destin and Panama City, worked to put out the blaze.

SWFD was on scene all night fighting to contain it.

WCSO reopened that section of County Road 30A at 7:30 a.m. Friday.

As she stood outside the home Friday morning, Moore said when she and her husband came upon the fire, it appeared to just be starting, and the flames were on the back outside lower level of the house.

"In the beginning, we couldn't see any flames in the front of the house, but within 20 minutes, it was totally engulfed," she said. "It moved fast and there was a lot of wind blowing towards the Gulf."

SWFD Fire Marshall Sammy Sanchez was onsite Friday morning and said he is working with the state Fire Marshall to determine the cause of the fire, but none has been made yet.

"Right now, we are focusing on the back of the house, as that's where we think it started, but we won't know until we get to the bottom of the debris, which will take hours," he said.

Sanchez said the house was valued at $1.3 million and was in the process of being renovated. No one was at the house when the fire broke out. The home was a total lost.