Fires destroys home in East Orange County

Orange County firefighters battled a raging house fire in east Orange County Wednesday.

They say it broke out at around 5:30 p.m. at a home off Trevarthon Rd. The neighborhood is just west of State Road 417, near the interchange with State Road 50.  SkyFOX showed flames shooting through the roof and smoke could be seen from several miles away.

“We just lost a brother of mine as well, so it’s really hard,” said Herman Velez, who lives at the home with his mother.

Velez said after a friend called him about the fire, he raced home.

“I was calling everyone, going crazy looking for her and nobody knew anything of her. Thank god – next thing you know she’s walking up to us. She almost dropped to her knees. She says she saw my car in the driveway and thought something happened to me,” he explained.

The family was forced to watch their home and possessions burn.

Orange County Fire and Rescue said they had 45 people on scene to try and put the fire out. Conditions were difficult, as the home is at the end of a long, dirt road.

“Our incident commander had to very carefully plan – make sure we get an attack engine in, followed by some units to get water into the scene,” said Division Chief Michael Wajda.

On top of that, firefighters had to make sure the fire didn’t spread to the woods.

“We eventually knocked the flames down. The roof completely collapsed,” Wajda said.

Only the skeleton of the house is still standing. The family said they have no idea how the fire started – there’s no power to the place.

The state fire marshal is investigating.