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Island home consumed in Wednesday night blaze

A vacation home on St. George Island with a commanding view of the Gulf of Mexico was devastated by fire Wednesday night that saw firefighters battling the blaze during the torrential wind and rain.

According to Jason Timbert, a firefighter with the St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department, the blaze erupted at just before 11 p.m. at the house at 1136 East Gulf Beach Drive.

By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, the house was fully engulfed, and the firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby homes. No one was hurt in the blaze.

Timbert said the winds were as high as 40 to 45 mph, which prompted occasions when the firefighters, who were assisted by members of the Eastpoint Volunteer Fire Department, had to retreat inside their trucks before resuming tackling the flames.

An investigation is now underway by the state fire marshal’s office, Timbert said, adding that it is not believed lightning was a factor in the fire’s origins.

The house at 1136 East Gulf Beach Drive was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. [ Jo Ellen Pearman | Contributed ]

Firefighters wrapped up their work just before 6 a.m. Thursday, and then returned later that morning to extinguish any persistent hot spots.

The house appeared to be a total loss. As a vacation home, it goes by the name “We’re Here” and is owned by Laura Grandy of Caseyville, Illinois.

According to the office of Property Appraiser Rhonda Skipper, as of last year the home has a taxable value of $1.04 million and a market value of $1.4 million.


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David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

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