Fire erupted in a house on County Road 65 in Loxley around 8 p.m. Thursday after neighbors heard what they thought was a gunshot.
Firefighters said they believe a propane tank exploded. When they arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames. Those flames shot taller than the tree tops, sending an eerie glow over neighboring homes.
“Couldn’t feel it, but you could see the tree lit up from the flames,” said Derek Deakle, who lives next door.
He says the strange part is nobody lives there.
“The house was boarded up,” he said. “They were trying to keep somebody out of it.”
One firefighter suffered a shoulder injury fighting the fire and was treated and released from a local hospital.
“I was worried it was going to spread for a minute because everything’s so dry,” Deakle said. “Luckily, the fire department took care of it.”
All that’s left now is rubble and ashes surrounded by crime scene tape and many questions, according to Deakle, that need an answer.
“It’s definitely weird,” he said. “They got an idea about how it started and who did it, but I stay here and mind my business. I try to stay out of it.”
The state fire marshal is expected to be here Monday to begin their investigation into what started the fire.