Crews checking hot spots after Fellsmere 350 acre wildfire

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- Sherrill Darter didn't have to even look out her window to know something was wrong.

"You could feel the intense heat, in the house," said Darter, a resident on 81st Street in Fellsmere, Indian River County. "The wind changed, and all of a sudden, it just roared," said Darter.

Flames from a 350 acre wildfire Tuesday were only 50 feet away from her.

By midnight, fire rescue crews contained 95 percent of the fire and were told to go home.

They say there is little chance the flames will rekindle in the early morning hours.

Firefighters used helicopters to dump water on her tree line Tuesday and a small crew of firefighters were checking hot spots Wednesday morning.

John Laverack, who lives across the street from Sherill said the fire burned two acres of his property.
Firefighters stood post around Laverack's home Tuesday, and were able to keep fire away, even as it inched closer.

"It's scary," Laverack said.

But Laverack's mind wasn't just on the home itself. It was on a small plot of land the fire seemed to have unfettered access to.

"My grandfather, he built this house in 1986," said Laverack.

The fire came menacingly close to destroying the site where the ashes belonging to his grandfather, "Wild Bill" Laverack and his great-grandfather, William Laverack are buried.

He knows that firefighters saved his house. But he doesn't know why the fire never touched his family's burial site.

"It was saved, amazingly. It wasn't touched. Somebody was looking over him," said Laverack.

A Forest Service spokeswoman said crews will return to the site of the wildfire after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The cause of the fire was a lighting strike, according to the Forest Service.

Rikki Klaus and Mike Trim WPTV contributed to this report.

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