COCOA BEACH, Florida – A Florida man sat in front of a smoldering beachfront mansion named “Pumpkin Center” and proceeded to carve a pumpkin on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
Located between 3rd and 4th Streets South in Cocoa Beach, Florida, the mansion was previously owned by USA TODAY and FLORIDA TODAY founder Al Neuharth.
Resting his back against the Pumpkin Center’s fence, the Florida man placed a pumpkin on his lap and pulled out a knife.
He took hold of the pumpkin in his hands and briefly gazed at the squash as though searching for artistic inspiration.
The Florida man then took a deep breath and began to carve into the fruit’s orange flesh.
The blaze erupted around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at 333 South Atlantic Avenue.
When Cocoa Beach firefighters arrived at the scene, the 10,000 square foot home made mostly of wood was fully engulfed in flames. A call then went out for mutual aid from the Cape Canaveral Fire Department followed by responses from Brevard County Fire Rescue and the Patrick Air Force Base Fire Department. Fire crews fought the blaze with a defensive attack to protect exposures and to contain the fire using large hand lines and elevated master streams.
A total of 6 fire engines, 2 ladder/tower trucks, 2 fire rescue units, 7 Chief Officers, and 1 Air Truck were used to extinguish the fire. Fire Command was able to give a “Fire Out” at approximately 1 a.m. with the continuation of mop-up operations and checking for hot spots throughout the night.