The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) experienced a very busy 4th of July weekend. The weekend started in earnest Thursday evening as lightening storms rolled through the area. Lightening strikes ignited 3 structure fires in South Walton. Due to the prompt response and quick actions of SWFD crews, the damages to the structures were minimized. In addition to the structure fires, crews responded to 30 other calls for assistance.
Visitors flocked to the beach on Friday, necessitating SWFD lifeguards to educate visitors on beach warning flags and surf conditions and in many instances to perform preventative actions and several water rescues. This response activity continued through the 4th of July. During one emergency response, an SWFD fire engine was struck in the rear as it was exiting an intersection. No one was injured in the accident and other units were dispatched to handle the initial call.
Saturday night at approximately 9:24 p.m., the SWFD received a call for a large outside fire threatening a house. After a quick response and an aggressive fire attack the crews were able to stop the fire from reaching the house, but were unable to save the boardwalk, which was fully involved upon their arrival. The cause of the fire was children playing with illegal fireworks.
“All told, it was a busy weekend, with a total of 96 calls; however, we plan and prepare for it and were able to provide our signature service to locals and visitors alike”, said Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief. “From our dispatchers answering the many calls for assistance, to our firefighters and lifeguards responding to those emergency requests, our team members did an excellent job.”