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Volusia firefighters believe Deltona fire sparked by someone

Fire marshal to investigate if fire was intentional or accidental

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DELTONA, Fla. – Volusia County firefighters said they believe a fire that burned dangerously close to homes was sparked by someone, and they have now called in the fire marshal to investigate.

The brush fire started around 4 p.m. Thursday and burned near Courtland Boulevard and Hanford Drive in Deltona.

Firefighters do not know if the blaze was intentionally set or if it was an accident.

Late into the night, thick, eye-watering smoke still lingered in the neighborhood. That's a big concern for Wayne Jenkins, whose daughter is asthmatic.

"That worries me a little bit. Just try to keep her away from the smoke as much as we possibly can," Jenkins said.

Just behind his house and roughly 10 others, fire crews cut lines into the dirt trying to keep it from spreading. The fire burned in a dried lake bed, and so heavy machinery got stuck, delaying the firefight.

Fire officials said neighbors were not evacuated, but crews kept a close watch on their homes until the fire died.

Now begins the investigation into why it began and who set it -- either by accident or on purpose.

"If someone sets a fire, especially near people's homes, they need to pay the price, accidental or whatever the case may be," Jenkins said.

Smoke in the area is expected to be gone by Friday morning, fire officials said.