WATCH: News 5 takes a close look at devastation the Five Mile Swamp fire left behind


MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — As the smoke of the Five Mile Swamp Fire has thinned, the damage for 14 homes in the area is clear — they’re a total loss.

News 5 Mobile Journalist Daniel Smithson on Tuesday took a closer look at the damage in the area of Lodda Court.

Carrie Neff, a nurse, said she evacuated on May 6, when the fire was inching close to her and her husband’s home of six years.

Neff said she had a feeling she’d lose her home, but she was hoping for the best.

“You know it’s like the gut, ‘OK I’m going to lose my house. Oh, maybe it will be OK,’” she said. “And then you’re like, ‘please Lord don’t let me lose my house.’”

She found out she had lost her home after listening to a radio scanner. Her neighbors sent her photos.

“It was surreal. It wasn’t like, you know what I mean? It hadn’t full force hit you yet,” Neff said. “So it’s just trying to go, ‘OK, where do we go from now?’”

Neff said she and her family plan to rebuild on their property.

Down the street, Dan Davis sat on a swing Tuesday, looking at what was left of him home.

On the morning of May 6, he went to a doctor’s appointment in Daphne. He took his two granddaughters with him because they all planned to go shopping after his appointment.

Davis said he wasn’t worried about the fire initially.

“They kept telling us it wasn’t going to jump the interstate,” the retired Army veteran said.

After the appointment, Davis said he kept getting alarms on his phone that the fire was near his three-bedroom home.

He tried to come back to save it, but it was too late. He lost everything.

“I ain’t got nothing,” Davis said. “The only thing I have is the clothes I had on that day.”

Davis says he has homeowners insurance and will also rebuild. He declined to be interviewed on camera. He said News 5 wasn’t going to see a “vet cry.”


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