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October 11, 2012

Fire destroys Day home

Mayo — An apparent electrical fire destroyed a home in the town of Day on Sunday, Sep. 30. No injuries were reported, but the house and the contents at 691 NW CR 280 were a complete loss, according to Lafayette County Fire/Rescue and the homeowners, Lyn and Jimmy Irvin.
There were no injuries reported.

Right around 3 a.m. Lyn Irvin’s son Alan Driver, 21, was home alone when he was awakened by a noise and then the smell of smoke. He got up to investigate and found the source of the smoke was coming from the crawlspace between the ceiling and the roof near the backdoor of the home.

Driver’s parents were not at home at the time. His mother works at the VA Hospital in Lake City and his father works at the prison in Lake Butler. The two of them had a class reunion to attend that evening in Lake City and decided to stay overnight there to cut down on drive time so they’d be able to attend the event.

Lyn Irvin said her son attempted to extinguish the fire on his own, going so far as to get up on the roof with a hose. When the power went off and the water stopped flowing he tried dousing the flames with water from the backyard pool. His attempts were futile, though, as the fire continued to spread.

“He did really great,” she said. “He even thought to move the gas grill and propane tank away from the house.”

At some point Driver called 911 from his cell phone and then he made a frantic call to his mother in Lake City and told her the house was on fire. His mother then called Driver’s grandmother Mozeta Buchanan who lives nearby, and she immediately rushed over to the residence. By the time she got there the home was already engulfed in flames.

At some point before the fire took control, Driver realized the family’s two pet dogs were still inside the home, so he ran back inside to retrieve them. Lucy the poodle managed to run outside on her own, but Chipper the Yorkie was so frightened he ran to his kennel in the bathroom to hide. Driver found him and safely brought him outside.

“He said his adrenaline was flowing,” Lyn Irvin said.

She also said Lafayette County Volunteer Fire Department arrived 22 minutes after the 911 call was placed, but as quick as they got there, however, it was too late to save the house as it was completely consumed by fire. The adjacent garage, the backyard shed, pool and patio escaped any fire damage and she attributes that to the valiant efforts of fire personnel.

“I can’t say enough good things about them,” Lyn Irvin said. “They were working hard to keep the fire from spreading. They also came back three different times to make sure there were no hot spots still smoldering.”

Lyn Irvin said Lafayette County Sheriff’s Deputy Harris, who was also at the scene, was so good to her son, even offering him a jacket and other clothing to wear since he was only in his underwear. Harris also contacted the Red Cross who arrived by the time the sun came up.

The Irvin’s are in the process of doing an inventory for their insurance company of all the items lost in the fire.

Lyn Irvin said, “We’ll be fine. God was good to us.”

Meanwhile, the Irvin’s are checking out all their options to rebuild on the land that was deeded to them by family.

“It’s home,” Irvin said.

According to LCFR director W.C. Hart, the fire marshal is not handling any sort of investigation into the fire. Hart said any investigation into the cause of the fire would be up to the homeowner’s insurance company.

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