Nearly $2M in Property Damage from Florida Fire Started by Controlled Burn

July 2, 2018

Officials estimate $1.7 million in property damage was lost to a “controlled-burn” fire that blazed out of control and destroyed 36 homes in a tiny Florida Panhandle community.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that state workers descended Thursday on Eastpoint to process insurance claims, provide temporary housing and replace driver licenses and auto registrations.

Over 120 residents living mostly in mobile homes and travel trailers were displaced. According to Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation estimated last week about 19 policyholders may have been impacted.

Franklin County officials say many people who lost their homes were renters without insurance. County emergency management director Pam Brownell says the damage estimate doesn’t include items such as cars or boats.

The state contracted Wildlands Services for the controlled burn June 18. The company’s owner, Doug Williams, says in 18 years working with different agencies, “occasionally we get escapes, but nothing like this.”

Patronis directed his Division of Risk Management last week to send adjusters to the area to assist residents with filing a partial settlement claim for up to $5,000 per household for emergency living expenses such as temporary housing, clothing, food or pet care.

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