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Area resident loses home, property in fire

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By Ada Lang

Cedar Key’s Volunteer Fire department was the first on the scene at a fire last Thursday, but there wasn't much they could do for the property owner, according to Fire Chief Robert Robinson.

The property, located at 5850 S.W. County Road 345 and owned by Al Lewis, was destroyed by the fire, Robinson said. Nobody was hurt in the blaze, but Lewis lost his home, a shed, boat, tractor and at least one car. The woods on the property were also burned and Robinson said live ammunition was exploding in Lewis' home.

Robinson said when he and volunteer firefighter Josh Wilson arrived, even the sand in Lewis' yard was too hot to stand on.

It took about 11 minutes for Robinson and Wilson to get to Lewis' property after receiving a call from dispatch at 2:55 p.m. Robinson said smoke was visible as the two drove over the No. 4 Bridge.

Several other firefighters made it to the scene a few minutes later.

Rosewood, Fowlers Bluff and Chiefland fire departments, as well as the Department of Forestry and Central Florida Electric Co-op also responded.

Robinson said he believes the fire, which spread to about 4 acres, started in a fire pit on Lewis' property. The Red Cross was contacted to help Mr. Lewis, who lost everything except his truck and his son’s camper that was parked nearby, Robinson said.