AVON PARK - Saturday morning, Valencia Acres resident Ned Tuttle saw 5-foot high sheet of flames shoot up from the mobile home across the street from his house, and as he started to go closer to make sure nobody was home, he heard popping sounds.
"We called 911," he said.
No one was inside the structure at 201 S. Camphor Loop at the corner with West Camphor Street, but the single-wide mobile home with additions on both sides was nearly a total loss, said Highlands Lakes VFD Chief Earl Gray.
The mobile home is owned by Aguilar Herlinda and Arreguen Silvia, according to the Highlands County Property Appraiser.
"Everything toward the center or the mobile home outward toward the street [W. Camphor Street] had fire and smoke damage," Gray said.
The hottest part, and where the fire started, was on the south side in an addition that was facing West Camphor, Gray said. The north side of the structure had smoke and heat damage.
It was not occupied during the fire, which was called in around 8:25 a.m., he said.
Gray said his department received assistance from the Avon Park Fire Department, West Sebring VFD and Highlands County EMS.
Firefighters remained at the scene until about 10:30 to 11 a.m., he said. The State Fire Marshall was on scene Saturday investigating the cause of the blaze.
"Don't know the exact cause, but right now we are ruling it accidental," Gray said.
Tuttle said two women lived in the mobile home.
"We were lucky; the guy who called Avon Park [Fire Department] was a fireman himself," Tuttle said. "He just happen to see the smoke and drove down," to see what was burning, Tuttle said. "They got here fast; the damage would have been worse if they hadn't come."