Panama City house fire kills 2, neighbors share memories

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Early this morning Panama City Fire responded to a home off Clay Avenue to find two deceased individuals. Nearby residents are saying this is a huge hit to their neighborhood.

According to Panama City Firefighters, the fire broke out around 1:00 AM Monday morning at the home.

“From our understanding, 911 dispatch received multiple calls from surrounding neighbors that they had a working fire,” said Battalion Chief of the Panama City Fire Dept. David Collier.

Firefighters say the home is a total loss. The cause is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office as well as the Panama City Fire and Police Departments.

The Panama City Fire Department, says it took a while to extinguish the fire and enter the home.

“Crews attempted to make entry but due to the heavy fire conditions, we weren’t able to make full entry to the structure. We were able to do a vent enter search on a portion of the structure and clear that part of it. But it wasn’t until later that once we got the fire under control that we did locate two victims inside of the structure,” said Collier.

Officials believe the two fatalities were an elderly couple inside the home.

“Sharon was my neighbor. She and her husband were extremely nice people. Sharon was friends with everybody. She had a little puppy that she walked around the neighborhood, she spoke to everybody when she would come around. Her husband was very very sweet, I’ve seen him several times .. I know he was very ill. Sharon was very ill. It’s going to be a really bad loss for the neighborhood,” said Neighbor, Beverly Burkett.

The identities have not yet been released as they are waiting to be confirmed by next of kin.

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