Camp Keystone moving forward after overnight fire

No one injured in early morning fire

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla - More than 300 campers and staff are without their dining hall at Camp Keystone in Bradford County after  a fire started around 2 a.m. this morning and destroyed the building, but fortunately no one was hurt.

The fire was so big that multiple agencies had to come and help Bradford County.

The dining room at Camp Keystone is now nothing but rubble and is a total loss but the director says they will remain hopeful and they will get through this.
 (Jazz Hill/Camp Keystone Counselor) "They were dancing in the tabernacle just like nothing ever happened they had breakfast were eating pop tarts so the day is going on fine," Jazz Hill, a counselor at Camp Keystone, said.

Hill says it's ironic that the 230 campers haven't asked much about Saturday morning's fire that destroyed their 18,000 square foot dining hall. She says they ate their breakfast like nothing had even happened.

An overnight deputy called 911 after he smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the laundry area of the facility around 2 a.m. at the Salvation Army camp in Bradford County.

The three alarm fire required additional assistance from Starke and Clay County. Michael Heeder with Bradford County says it's one of the biggest fires the county has seen.

"We had firefighters as far away as Green Cove, Middleburg, Camp Blanding and Keystone Heights assisting Bradford County and with that coordinated effort, training, communications that led to a successful fire with no injuries" he said.

Captain Marion Platt is the director at Camp Keystone and says it's a huge loss, but  they teach their campers about hope and faith, so they will easily get through this.

"All of our staff, all of our campers they're aware of the situation and were spending lots of time in prayer and reminding them that hes in control in this situation," Platt said.
And if the campers do start to ask questions, Mike Davis, a Camp Keystone counselor says they have that covered.

"Luckily we are the Salvation Army so were used to handling a disaster," Davis said. "We know how to properly feed people so everything in that regard is going good."

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. The State Fire Marshal is investigating.

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