Holt Fire responds to house fire in Baker


Holt Fire District responded to a Baker fire at the home of Francis and Emanuel Simon Aug. 31. (Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office)

HOLT, Fla., Aug. 31, 2017–Holt Fire District responded to a 911 call about a house fire in Baker today along with other emergency units from the surrounding area.

No one was injured in the one-story concrete-block house fire on Jack Stokes Road.

Holt responded to the emergency with an engine, two firefighters and a rescue support unit to assist the Baker Fire District,  said Holt Fire Chief Scott Chestnut.

According to Chestnut, the 1:15 p.m. 911 call said smoke and flames were showing.

In addition to Holt and Baker, other emergency responders included Blackman Fire District, Harold Fire District and Crestview Fire Department, as well as the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services.

Asleep at the time, long-time Baker resident Frances Simon, who was the only person in the house, woke to the smell of smoke.

“There was flame coming out of the bathroom,” she said. “The bedroom was full of smoke.”

Not able to exit through the front because of the smoke, Simon went out the back door and circled to the front and entered the house to retrieve her keys so a neighbor could move her car away from the fire.

Simon said said Okaloosa County EMS was one of the first to respond to her 911 call.


Frances Simon, left, is surrounded by family and friends while firefighters work to save her house following a bathroom fire.

Taking shelter under a neighbor’s tree, Simon was surrounded by family and friends as firefighters cut through the roof to access still-smoldering embers.

Her husband, Emanuel, a retired plumber, was not home at time of the fire, but arrived shortly after the initial call.

Simon does not know what caused the  bathroom fire, she said.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Stephanie Holcombe

(Featured image above courtesy Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office)


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