(Mims, FL)- Brevard County Fire Rescue responded this afternoon for a residential structure fire in the 3400 block of Benson Court, Mims. The call was dispatched at 4:48 p.m.
Marillian Teague, an off-duty member of the Mims Volunteer Fire Department, and her mother, identified as Debbie Cherbano, were driving in the area and saw smoke coming from the single-wide mobile home. The pair used a cell phone to dial 911 and Teague rushed to the front of the home to check for residents.
“The front door of the home was open and I could see a male lying asleep on the couch,” said Teague. “I was able to wake him up and get him to leave the home as the smoke was starting to get thick.”
According to Teague, a dog tied to a post near the front door was barking and trying to enter the house as she approached.
“The dog was on a chain that was long enough for him to sit just inside the door,” she said. “He tried to bite me a couple of times as I was trying to enter the home, but he calmed down pretty fast and I was able to get him to leave too.”
As Teague worked to move the dog to safety, the occupant reportedly tried to re-enter the structure and had to be pulled out again by Teague just as flames began coming through the doorway.
“It looked like the fire might have started in the kitchen and spread really quickly,” said Teague.
When fire crews arrived at the scene four (4) minutes after being dispatched, the home was already fully involved and a complete loss. It took firefighters just five (5) minutes to knock down the main body of fire and begin the longer process of overhauling the structure to search for hidden fire. Subsequent searches of the home confirmed that the male occupant was the only person at the residence. Paramedics evaluated and released both the occupant and Teague for minor smoke inhalation. The dog appeared to be unharmed.
It is unclear whether or not the home was insured. The Red Cross was notified and came to the scene to assist the resident.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. BCFR crews were assisted at the scene by Titusville Fire & Emergency Services, Mims Volunteer Fire Department, and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. FPL was called to the scene to disconnect power from the home.