A brush fire near the University of Central Florida created some tense moments for homeowners in the Palm Valley retirement community.
Several homes backed up to the woods and brush that caught fire around 5 p.m. Monday. Firefighters said nearly 5 acres had burned, and while it threatened power lines, no homes were evacuated.
"I was fixing dinner and I turned around at my back yard and looked out the window and saw flames going up the trees," said Diane Gallagher, who was the first to spot the fire.
She yelled for her husband who ran house-to-house warning neighbors while she called 911.
"(It was) blazing," said Mary Emerson, who lives two houses down. "Then there was another blaze and another blaze and pretty soon it swept around."
Emerson and other neighbors watched from her back yard as a helicopter scooped water from a nearby pond and dumped it on the fire nearly a dozen times.
"I was a little nervous for quite a while. I still am because it's still going on," said Emerson. "I'll probably be guarding it for quite a while."
Firefighters readied hoses but did not actively fight the fire. Instead, the last flame flickered out around 8 p.m., defeated not by firefighters but by the moisture in the air. The Seminole County Fire Department believes no homes were in danger, but for the Gallaghers, it was too close.
"It is close, very close," said Gallagher. "The fire just kept getting bigger and just spreading, and luckily the wind was going in the opposite direction of the houses."
Firefighters don't know what caused the fire, but it did not appear to have started naturally because firefighters said there were at least three separate fires when they arrived. Firefighters plan to watch the area through the morning to make sure flames don't start up again.