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Fire burns sheds at Port Carrabelle

Fire struck Port Carrabelle last week, but fortunately no
one was hurt and there was little damage except for two sheds.

If you are wondering where Port Carrabelle is, it’s the name
given a stretch of homes under the Carrabelle bridge, on the west side, by the
late Ben Watkins, a longtime attorney and landholder who once lived there.

The call came in at 5:11 p.m., said Carl Whaley, chief of
the Carrabelle Volunteer Fire Department, who traveled from Woodill road to the
location in response.

“The shed was empty and burned up before I arrived,” he
said. “I think it was electrical started. There was an active electrical line
sparking and arcing, set off when I got there. It very well could have been
rodents that chewed into the wire. It was just burning like crazy with that
wind behind it.”

The shed, made of old creosote and fat pine wood, went right
up, and embers melted the siding on a shed nearby owned by the Lawhon family. “They
were close together,” Whaley said.

Duke Energy came and shut off the power.

With a 25-knot wind blowing out of the southwest, embers
were blown to dry underbrush on Davis Island, and a crew was summoned from the
Florida Forest Service’s Tate’s Hell field office to put that out.

“The Carrabelle volunteer fire department battled the land
fire,” Whaley said. “Forestry has a boat they used. They let the stuff burn to
a point and used hand tools to scrape and clean and it burned to that and

Whaley said the local department used between 6,000 and
7,000 gallons of water on the fire.

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