Fire chief says blaze gutted Auburn home

By ISAAC SABETAI Daily News Staff Writer

CRESTVIEW — A fire destroyed a home Wednesday in the Auburn community, leaving nothing but a large pile of ash and debris.

The structure, which was actually a doublewide trailer with a separate brick exterior wall and a metal roof, was just a half-mile from a North Okaloosa Fire District station. But firefighters didn’t get the call until it was too late.

“The house was destroyed by the time we were called,” said North Okaloosa Fire Chief Ed Cutler. “When we got there, there was nothing we could do to save the house.”

The homeowner was in Alabama at the time of the fire, and the house, which is off a dirt road, is in a rural area of the county.

The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the blaze, according to Cutler. However, Cutler said there didn’t appear to be anything suspicious about the fire.

At about noon, the house off Bass Angler Lane began burning. North Okaloosa firefighter Marquis Johnson was the first to arrive, and he said flames were soon shooting above the roof.

“It was fully involved,” Johnson said. “The roof was still intact, but then it collapsed.”

The fire also tore through the brick exterior wall.

The house contained a stock of ammunition that presented a slight challenge for firefighters. The ammunition, which Cutler said included some shotgun shells, exploded in the fire.

“It’s not majorly hazardous,” Cutler said. “Ammunition tends to pop instead of shoot. Everything is fine if you’re wearing bunker gear.”