Jamie Burnsed had left the house on Fruit Avenue in Daytona North this morning, but his wife and three children were there when a fire broke out in the more than 2,000-square-foot structure’s midsection, gutting it and making the manufactured house unlivable.
Burnsed, one of three battalion chiefs at Flagler County Fire Rescue, and one of its longest-serving firefighters, had lived at the property with his family for just about 10 years, moving in there in January 2007. This afternoon he was toiling around the property as his children and friends were sorting through belongings that had survived the flames and taking stock of what had not.
Burnsed had taken it in with the same calm he’s projected before through trying times, and his family has known its share.
“This community has always been supportive of us,” he said, “just like when Lane died. God is in control of all this.” (In July 2012 Burnsed’s oldest son Lane, then 19, was killed in a car wreck, along with Meredith Smith, on I-95. The man responsible for the wreck was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He had been impaired by pain killers.)
We know that everything is going to work out fine. The community has always overwhelmed us with support. And we’re sure that they’ll dot hat again and well say thank you even before it starts.”
He said his wife, three children and the family dog all made it out safely. “They were having breakfast when it started. I was at the farm,” he said.
The desire to help has already kicked in. “Of course it was Jamie, so everybody is out there trying to help him out,” Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito said.
Joe Rizzo, co-owner of the nearby Bull Creek Fish Camp restaurant and Woody’s Restaurant in Palm Coast, almost immediately contributed meals for the family, while Burnsed’s phone, he said, “has been ringing off the hook” since news of the fire started spreading, with colleagues and friends offering help.
Though the house is now unlivable, Burnsed said he has a travel camper that the family could use as shelter, hooked up to amenities at the nearby fish camp, which provides camper hook-ups. He may have other options as the family rebuilds.
Flagler County’s fire marshal was at the property investigating the blaze this morning, Petito said. The call came in at 9:41 a.m. “Our guys did a good job of making a stop, but at least half of it is probably destroyed.”
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had responded to the fire, as did unites from every fire department in the county, several of them from Fire Rescue: Palm Coast’s Engine 25, Flagler Beach’s Ladder 11 and Bunnell’s Engine 63.