Over the past two weeks, Gadsden County communities have suffered losses at the burning hands of two lethal house fires – a devastating blaze in Chattahoochee that killed one, and another destructive fire in the Dodger Ballpark community that killed one and critically injured two more.
The most recent blaze was this past Sunday night in the rural Dodger Ballpark community north of Quincy. At 8:07 p.m., Gadsden County Sheriff’s deputies and Quincy Fire and Rescue personnel respond to the 500 block of David Clemons Road in response to a report of a house fire.
Upon arrival, authorities found a doublewide mobile home “almost fully engulfed” in flames, a Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson reported. Firefighters pulled three people from the inferno. Two of the victims, whose names have not been released, were airlifted in “serious condition” to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The third victim, 53-year-old Gloria Murray, died on scene, authorities said.
The status of the two hospitalized victims was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon, according to law enforcement.
A little more than a week prior to the David Clemons Road blaze, another fire nearly razed a Chattahoochee home and killed the sole occupant.
Around 9:10 a.m., Friday, January 11, firefighters with the Chattahoochee and Florida State Hospital fire departments, as well as Chattahoochee Police, responded to a report of a structure fire at the 1200 block of South Main Street in Chattahoochee, a police spokesperson reported.
First responders arrived to discover an older single-story wood home consumed in a violent blaze. The fire was brought under control in relatively short order, before flames spread to a neighboring dwelling, just feet away from the engulfed house. After battling the flames for more than an hour, firefighters fully extinguished the inferno, leaving only smoldering ruins.
Once it was deemed safe to do so, fire and law enforcement personnel inspected the burned-out residence and uncovered the remains of a deceased individual, whose identity is unknown, pending an investigation. Authorities declined to say whether the individual was killed in the fire or was already dead when the flames ignited.
The causes of both house fires are unknown at this time, pending the results of ongoing investigations. The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting local authorities in both cases.
By Brian Dekle