Martin County residents getting back to normal amid fires, flareups

Posted at 10:40 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 04:50:21-05

Martin County homeowner Doreen Gelsebach, with help, decided to fight Wednesday night's fire, with more fire.

"Right now, we're doing a barbecue. We had a long night last night," she says.

Doreeen wasn't even home when it sparked Wednesday. She found out through frantic phone calls. With a police and fire escort, she was allowed in her threatened home only for a few seconds.

"It was surreal. When I first stepped into the house, I froze because all I saw was orange. And I thought...I didn't care about anything, just get the animals and get out," she says.

By the time the smoke cleared, her fence seared.

Down the street in Hibiscus Park, Chris Chesanek, the same thing. Only saved by a firefighter using borrowed equipment.

"Brittle, used, old rubber hose. And he got it out just in time with my hose. Thank God," he says.

Scott Eves had embers flying over his house, touching down, and torching parts of his car canopy.

"So now it looks like Swiss cheese," Scott said.

It's a neighborhood without fire hydrants that came so close to disaster.

"If it weren't for the Martin County Fire Department, I don't think my house would be here," Doreen says.

On Thursday night it was back to a normal routine -- a simple dinner with friends.

"Now it's the barbecue. If I don't turn those, they're going to burn," she says, turning to tend to her meal.