Milton residents begin to move forward after Five Mile Swamp fire burns home

Northwest Florida

MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — The Five Mile Swamp is now 75 percent contain, which means residents are now trickling back to their homes — or what’s left of them. 

Brian Perryman, 31, his fiancé and 10-month-old son are now living with his father after the fire destroy their home off of Burloak Drive in Milton. The family moved into the three-bedroom home just a year ago. 

Perryman said he was at work in Fort Walton Beach on Wednesday when his phone was buzzing with worried family and friends. They warned him of the fire and he feared for his family. 

“I was scared to death,” he said. 

Luckily, fire officials were able to get his fiancé and son out of the area before the fire left his home in ashes. 

“If wasn’t for them, they’d probably not be here,” Perryman said. 

Although Perryman is relieved his family is safe, losing his family’s first home still stings. 

In the fire, he lost his military memorabilia from spending six years in the U.S. Air Force. He lost his son’s baby book. And he lost fish and turtles his fiancé was forced to leave behind while evacuating. 

“Everything that I’ve ever owned in 31 years of living was in this house,” he said. “It’s gone now.” 

Perryman says he and his family, despite the loss, are working on moving toward. 

“You can’t be weak-minded. You can’t let everything get you all flustered and stuff,” he said. “You gotta do what you have to do to take care of the situation and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Perryman’s father has set up a PayPal donation page for the Perrymans as they work to get back on their feet. 

Here is the link if you wish to donate: https://www.paypal.me/11042018

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