15-acre brush fire erupts in Orange County

Crews fight blaze burning near homes

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Families in the Avalon Park neighborhood in Orange County kept a watchful eye on their own backyards after a 15-acre brushfire burned woods up to their property lines.

The fire burned near Silver River Trail and forced the evacuation of 13 families, according to fire officials.

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Fire officials said the fire is now contained, but some families planned to spend the night elsewhere, for fear the flames would reignite.

"I saw flames. I saw very dark smoke," said Christine Fullerton, whose home was within feet of the fast-moving fire. "The flames were just behind the garage here. It came right up to the grass line."

Of the 13 homes firefighters said were evacuated, all the families have been allowed back inside, but most will spend the night watching for flare-ups.

"It looked like a scene from a movie. It was moving very, very fast," said Mike Schultz, who fought the flames on his own until firefighters arrived. "I saw flames probably 60 to 70 feet high shooting across. So we just turned on our sprinklers and started coming out here with the hose."

Schultz plans to have his wife and young son stay elsewhere, while he protects his property overnight.

Firefighters plan to keep an eye on any hot spots throughout the night, but said the 15-acre fire is now fully contained.

Officials have not determined what sparked the fire.

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