MERRITT ISLAND, Florida -- Brevard County Fire Rescue crews were dispatched at 12:19 p.m. today for a reported structure fire at 885 Pine Island Road on Merritt Island, Florida.
While en route, firefighters reported seeing a column of smoke from more than one mile away. On arrival, crews found a working fire involving the front portion of a one-story, wood frame home. Due to a long driveway leading to the home, firefighters laid 1000 feet of supply line from a hydrant forcing the closure of a portion of Pine Island Road near the fire to area residents. A downed power line supplying the home was a safety concern until secured by FPL.
With a large portion of the home engulfed in flames and with confirmation that no one was home, firefighters deployed two hose lines in a defensive fire attack. The blaze was quickly brought under control, preventing fire spread to nearby brush and protecting several cages of parrots and chickens adjacent to the home. Two dogs, a German Shepherd mix and a Labrador mix, were found in the yard and were uninjured though obviously distressed by the events.
The fire has displaced the residents of the home, a married couple, who are now being assisted by the Red Cross. The home was insured and is considered a total loss. The pair told investigators they had left the home several hours earlier and returned to find the structure destroyed by fire. The fire was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke and called 911.
State and local investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. They have determined that the fire began at or near a "Florida Room" built onto the front of the home.