Jensen Beach residents say brush fire was 'terrifying to see'

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. - Crews are monitoring a still-smoking scene, after a multi-acre brush fire in Jensen Beach threatened a community and scorched dozens of acres.

Even at 10:00 p.m. Monday in the Sugar Hill subdivision, you could still see some flickering flames and lingering smoke left over from a massive fire that blazed through the Savanna's Preserve State Park and threatened several homes.

As of Tuesday morning, the fire has been contained, and crews will be back out looking for hotspots.

Jensen Beach resident Stefani Savarese said she was petrified when she saw the billows of smoke.

"It was so scary, scariest thing ever, biggest fear of my life is fire," she said.

Florida Forest Service and Martin County Fire Rescue crews battled the brush fire beginning at 1:30 p.m.

"I thought someone's house was on fire, I thought my house was on fire, it was just insane," said Savarese. "I didn't even know what to do, I panicked."

The fire spread out over 35 acres of Jensen Beach, and loomed near a five houses in the Sugar Hill community and ten houses off Savannah Road.

Eyewitness Gregory Gilbert said the fire was a frightening sight.

"Oh man, this is wild man, look like we gonna burn the house down," Gilbert said. "But look like they got it under surveillance now."

Officials say the first calls came in early afternoon, but by 6:00 p.m., they had managed to contain all of the fire.

All homes escaped any damage, thanks in part to water canals and firebreaks put in place months ago by the Florida Forest Service, in preparation for the dry season.

Jensen Beach resident Walt Blanchard said the conditions have been just about right for a fire to spark.

"You gotta be very careful now. Everything is always so dry," explained Blanchard.

It was those dry conditions and heavy winds that Florida Forest Service officials said made fighting the fire even more difficult.

Authorities still don't know what sparked the fire, but they said they do not believe it was caused by lightning.

Savarese said she is reassured, knowing the blaze is under control.

"Now I feel more comfortable, I can sleep now, knowing that it's contained, I feel fine."

However, pop up fires are why officials are asking residents to be cautious, since the area is expected to have smoky conditions through Tuesday morning.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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