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36 Homes Destroyed When Controlled Burn Goes Out Of Control

EASTPOINT, Fla. (AP) — Officials estimate $1.7 million in property damage was lost to a “controlled-burn” fire that blazed out of control and destroyed 36 homes in a tiny Florida Panhandle community.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports that state workers descended Thursday on Eastpoint to process insurance claims, provide temporary housing and replace driver licenses and auto registrations.

Over 120 residents living mostly in mobile homes and travel trailers were displaced.

Franklin County officials say many people who lost their homes were renters without insurance. County emergency management director Pam Brownell says the damage estimate doesn’t include items such as cars or boats.

The state contracted Wildlands Services for the controlled burn June 18. The company’s owner, Doug Williams, says in 18 years working with different agencies, “occasionally we get escapes, but nothing like this.”

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