Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) firefighters responded to the home, located in the 3300 block of Grant Road, at 10:30 p.m. and arrived a few minutes later to find the single story residence approximately 40% involved in heavy flames and smoke that shot from the roof of the structure.
The homeowner, his wife, two sons, and two family dogs were able to escape the home uninjured after a passerby spotted the flames, dialed 911, and then woke the family by banging on the front door of the home. This is contrary to initial reports that the family was awakened by smoke alarms. While the home was equipped with operable smoke alarms, smoke from the fire had not spread to the living quarters of the home when the family was alerted. As a result, the smoke alarms had not yet activated.
The homeowner related that the family spent the day celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones and had returned to the home just a few hours earlier. Everyone inside the home was asleep when the fire broke out and the Good Samaritan is being credited with alerting them to the danger and making it possible for everyone to escape safely.
The fire appears to have originated at the western end of the home, an area largely comprised of the home’s garage. Fire crews acted quickly to stop the fire’s spread to the main living area of the home. While that portion of the home suffered significant smoke damage, many of the family’s belongings were spared as a result of the firefighters’ efforts. As firefighters continued to arrive on scene, the fire spread into the attic space of the home, forcing crews to climb to the roof to stop its progression.
According to the homeowner, several ATVs, a golf cart, and an RV camper were destroyed in the fire. A car parked outside the garage suffered minor damage from the fire’s radiant heat.
The cause of the fire is undetermined but an investigation is underway. Officials say that while the home was severely damaged, it is too early to tell whether the home will be considered a “total loss.” The occupants declined assistance from the American Red Cross and will stay with family locally. The home was insured. No injuries to residents or fire personnel were reported.
A number of agencies were involved in the firefighting efforts: BCFR, Palm Bay Fire Department, Melbourne Fire Department, Malabar Volunteer Fire Department, and Indian River County Fire Department. There were more than 45 fire personnel on the scene and the assistance received from the various agencies was appreciated. Florida Power & Light responded to the scene to disconnect power from the structure, making the scene safe for fire crews to work. Deputies from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office assisted with traffic control and tending to the family’s immediate needs.