Home fire under investigation

By DEBORAH BUCKHALTER / Floridan Staff Writer
July 5, 2005

A house in Sneads was destroyed by fire Saturday night.

The elderly homeowner, Janie Edwards, had moved out of state several months ago and was not there when the fire was reported around 8 p.m.

The Sneads Volunteer Fire Department, fire units from nearby Chattahoochee, and Jackson County Fire Rescue responded to the fire, which was called in on the 911 system.

Sneads Fire Chief Buddy Jeter said flames were already visible near the roof when his crew arrived on scene. "It had a good start," he said.

The wood-frame structure is located off U.S. 90 near O'Hara Avenue and River Road.

Jeter said Edwards had already removed most of her belongings from the house and that there didn't appear to be much inside.

Once the fire was under control, the assisting agencies headed back to their stations, but the Sneads crew stayed several hours to ensure there wasn't a second outbreak.

No surrounding structures were in danger, but Sneads City Manager Jamie Parmer said fire crews were concerned about a fully fuelled LP gas tank on the property. They kept the tank and the area around it wet down as they fought the blaze, he said.

Neither electricity nor water service were going to the home.

The cause and starting point of the fire was still under investigation by the state fire marshal as of Monday.

Another fire, this one on Sunday morning, destroyed a mobile home near Graceville. Crews from Jackson County Fire Rescue and the Graceville Volunteer Fire Department responded to the blaze around 10:30 a.m. The home is located off Browntown Road. No further details on that fire were available as of press time Monday.