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Fatal Fire Claims the Lives of Two Residents

DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - A fire in Walton County claims two lives. It started late Friday night with a 911 call.
 
After battling the flames, two people were found inside.


When authorities arrived here Friday evening, it was a much different scene than what you see behind me. They say large flames and dense smoke were completely engulfing the mobile home.

"At approximately 9:54 P.M., we were dispatched to 72 Cotton Lane to a structure fire to a single-wide mobile home. They told us upon dispatch that there maybe two occupants inside that had not been accounted for, " explained Brad Newsome, Walton County Fire Rescue, District Chief.

The two people inside were, Herbert M. Smith, Jr., 51 and Sherrie Renee Urciolo, 54.

A resident down the street said at first, he thought his neighbors were having a bonfire.

"So, we walk up and that's when we noticed that the kitchen part was on fire. So, I ran back over to my wife and told her to call 911," recalled Brandon Rankins, Eye Witness.

Rankins and another neighbor found a stick and a watering hose, that they used to try hold off the flames and get through the bedroom window but, the fire was spreading too fast.

"By the time he got the back door open and I got through the front, there was propane tanks in the house and the first one went off and it pushed us back. At that point we had to...we had our families over there and we just knew there was nothing more we could do," explained Rankins.

Rankins said, then four more propane tanks exploded.

Walton County Fire Rescue worked with Argyle Fire and DeFuniak Springs Fire Department to get the flames under control.

"We were able to find the occupants in the bed room, unfortunately we were not able to get to them in time, they had already succumbed to smoke and heat," said Chief Newsome.

The State Fire Marshal is still investigating what caused the fire. At this point, hey do not think the fire was suspicious in nature. 

Authorities said, "Two dogs didn't make it alive but, the couple's pet pig did."


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