Wildfire too close for comfort for Palm Bay residents

- Palm Bay firefighters late Wednesday lined up to refill their brush trucks with water, making quick trips back to the woods to keep a smoldering mess from re-igniting. 

The smoke and fire caught Wendy Shaw by surprise earlier in the day. 

“I went outside to let my dogs out and it was dark smoke.  So we called the fire department and they came out,” said Shaw.

She said the blaze spread fast.  Red hot flames, she said, were as high as her roof. 

“You could see flames, smoke everything,” said Shaw., which were too close for comfort.  “I said if it get any closer I’m wetting the roof down cause I seen people wetting their roof.  I was ready to pack up everybody.”

A battalion chief for the Palm Bay Fire Department said the fire ripped through at least 15 acres.  Florida Forest Services cut fire lines o keep the blaze from jumping Emerson Road as fire crews worked as fast as they could to get flames out. 

“I just had to like breath. When I first seen the fire up close I was like, 'Woohoo!'  I kept my fingers crossed,” said Shaw.

She kept worrying about her house. 

“That fire, a couple of embers could have gotten over there,” said Shaw. 

Just as she was finishing dinner, crews had all the flames out.

“Oh, Lord!  Thank you!” she said. 

The battalion chief says Palm Bay Fire Rescue will have crews on fire watch over night to make sure that the fire doesn’t flare back up. 

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