High Springs home destroyed by blaze

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 12:46 a.m.
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An Alachua County firefighter contains a blaze that started in the yard of Fran Holland's High Springs home and destroyed the residence Tuesday.

ALEXANDER COHN/The Gainesville Sun
HIGH SPRINGS - A woman and her son lost almost everything in a fire that charred their concrete block home and burned more than an acre of their yard near High Springs Wednesday afternoon.
The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. at a three-bedroom, single-story home at 12812 NW 214th Terrace just south of High Springs, according to Megan Crandall with Alachua County Fire Rescue.
Crandall said firefighters from ACFR, the Newberry Fire Department, the High Springs Fire Department and the LaCrosse Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene within minutes and had the fire under control in just under an hour.
ACFR District Chief Danny Schaeffer said he couldn't be sure whether the fire started outside and moved inside or vice versa, but the house was a total loss.
"There's no reason for the fire to have started outside, but we can't rule that out," Schaeffer said.
Stephen Holland, 26, said he and a friend who has been staying with the family were both asleep in the house when the fire started.
Neighbors driving by saw the flames, called 911 and went to the house.
Holland said he and his friend ran outside to find the yard engulfed in flames.
Fran Holland, 56, said she raised her children, including Stephen, in the home and had lived there for 30 years.
"My husband died in 2005, so my son moved in with me to help pay the mortgage, and his friend has been staying with us the past few months," Fran Holland said. "I was out looking for work and then they called and told me about this."
Fran occasionally burst into tears as she looked around her blackened yard and picked through a few coats and other items that firefighters had pulled from the home.
"All my wedding pictures, the baby pictures, my husband's urn, it was all in there," she said.
Alice Wallace can be reached at 374-5036 or alice.wallace@gvillesun.com

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