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— South Walton Fire District (SWFD) firefighters responded to a residential structure fire early Saturday morning on Sugar Cove Road in Santa Rosa Beach.
The original 911 caller reported a fire was spreading throughout a home’s garage, engulfing a vehicle and the contents inside. Firefighters arrived on-scene at 1:30 a.m. to find heavy smoke and flames showing from the residence and learned that the homeowner had made it out safely, but one dog was potentially still inside.
Squad 3 and Rescue 3 firefighters deployed an attack line and initiated a primary search of the home. Upon entering through the front door, firefighters encountered high heat conditions and low visibility. During the search, firefighters located the dog in the house’s backyard and were able to reunite the dog with the homeowner.
The next incoming crews established a water supply and fire suppression efforts continued until 1:45 a.m. when the fire was knocked down. At that time, the garage had partially collapsed, and firefighters worked carefully through overhaul operations for approximately two more hours to address remaining hot spots.
During the incident, SWFD Advanced Life Support evaluated the homeowner and dog for injuries and determined both required only minor medical attention on-scene. No other injuries were reported.
The SWFD Fire Marshal responded to investigate the fire and confirmed it was accidental in nature, and that the garage was the most likely room of origin. Due to the heavy debris load and partial collapse within the garage, the exact cause of the fire is undetermined.
Approximately 25 SWFD personnel responded to the incident. SWFD would like to thank all responding Walton County Sheriff’s Office deputies for their assistance during this call.