MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A mother and daughter are dead, and a small Clay County community is devastated after a fire ripped through a mobile home Wednesday night.
It happened at a mobile home on Kristi Court near Old Jennings Road and County Road 220. Clay County Fire Rescue crews first arrived at the home just after 10 p.m. Wednesday.
The flames were so intense that crews could not conduct an immediate search for anyone who could have been inside. Firefighters were also trying to de-energize a downed, live powerline.
Neighbor Roger Lessen said he and his wife both called 911 when they saw the fire raging while on their way back home shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday. The site is still too hard for Lessen to process.
“My wife was telling me last night that all she could do was see the fire and the blazes,” Lessen said while fighting back tears. “The fire was shooting clear up past the trees and everything when we came home. We saw the back end of the place probably not totally engulfed in flames and it was slowly moving up into the front of the house which really scared us.”
Lessen said a woman in her 80s and her adult daughter lived in the home.
“It’s not something that you want to come home and see, and it really makes you stop and think. You never know what’s going to happen and when,” Lessen said.
The state fire marshal will investigate what caused a fire at a Middleburg home where two people were found dead inside.
Photos from Clay County Fire Rescue show just how quickly the fire tore through the home.
After about 25 minutes, firefighters were able to get inside and found the two women dead.
All that remained Thursday morning were parts of the roof, burned grass and a burned satellite. According to Clay County Fire Rescue, the fire did all that damage within 30 minutes.
As Lessen came back out to check the damage, he said this small community of about four families always looks out for each other.
“We always watched out for them. You would have thought they were my kids,” Lessen said.
The view of the charred remains left barely standing is something Lessen says he will never forget.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
A second, unrelated fire at a home in Middleburg sent one person to the hospital with minor burns.
Firefighters dealt with live power lines at both fire scenes.