Florida

Florida fire destroys girls' summer camp, forces evacuations

Fire crews kept a close eye from the sky on what was smoldering on the ground in Oviedo, not far from Kenny Hobbs' Live Oak home.

“Being able to come home to a house that’s pretty much not damaged is… we’re very thankful," Hobbs said.

Thankful because this is the first time he and his family are getting back home after about 44 homes were evacuated Saturday night.

”It hit so quick," Hobbs said. "The flames were so high, so fast. It was unimaginable.”

He said a wall of fire was headed toward his house.

"It was as taller than the roof of the house," Hobbs said.

Those flames danced so close to his home, the back screens melted and areas of their backyard burned.

Fortunately, he and his neighbors' homes are basically OK. Hobbs calls it a miracle.

"Absolutely," he said. "God was absolutely watching after us."

He also thanked the quick actions of first responders.

"So grateful for ‘em," he said.

That’s the reason why Bibbie Chapman gave away free large cups of coffee to firefighters Sunday morning.

"Gosh, they’ve been out here all night. It’s the polite thing to do," She said.

Oviedo’s fire chief, Lars White, told Fox 35 that they’ve got about 20 fire trucks out monitoring the fire Sunday, working the more than 160-acre fire.

He said they saved 50-100 homes from catching fire Saturday night.

They’re now on day two, saying it’s well contained, but there’s a challenge today.

"The winds would be the challenge. The humidity level is still low and we’re still in a red flag warning," White said. "It’s still extremely dry out. We’re under drought conditions."

Sean Williams, who was evacuated Saturday night, said, “We’re a little concerned that we’re not necessarily out of trouble yet.”

Florida’s forest service put a burn ban on the Orlando District Sunday, saying the fire danger is too high.

Seminole County also instituted a burn ban across the County Sunday.

Chief White said crews will be out all evening, until the fire is 100 percent contained.

At the nearby girl's summer camp that was heavily damaged by the fire, clean up got started Sunday.

Sharon Gregory, with the Seminole County Fire Department, told FOX 35 people were being let in Sunday to get belongings they couldn't claim during Saturday night's evacuations.

Gregory said 8-11 cabins and temporary pop-up tents were destroyed, along with A pontune boat and some docks at camp Mah-Kah-Wee.

Chief White said no one was hurt during the fire.