Camper fire spreads to home in Holt

Munson Fire Chief John King douses the burning camper in an effort to protect the house from the flames.

HOLT, Fla. Jan. 11, 2022—A Holt residence was damaged by fire and smoke today when a camper parked in the driveway next to the house caught fire just before 1 p.m.

No one was injured in the blaze. Firefighters rescued four dogs and a cat from the smoke-filled home.

Ruth Rainey, left, comforts her cat who was rescued from the fire.

The house, located on Main Street, is the parsonage for the First Baptist Church of Holt where pastor, Curt Rainey and his wife, Ruth, live.

According to Ruth, her father, who is visiting, was home alone when he heard someone banging on the door saying, “Hey did you know your camper is on fire?” By then, someone had already called 911.

John King, fire chief of Munson Volunteer Fire and Rescue District, was headed to Holt for lunch when he heard the alarm. He was first on the scene.

He assisted Holt Fire District firefighter Justin Barrow who arrived shortly afterwards with Engine 32. King manned the hose, concentrating on the flaming camper in an effort to minimize damage to the house.

Baker Fire District and Crestview Fire Department also responded to assist with the fire along with former Holt firefighter Travis Raymo.

Heat from the camper fire melted the plastic soffit in the eaves and ignited the wood underneath.

Quick action from firefighters saved the house by preventing the fire from spreading, containing the blaze to the one room that was a converted garage and the attic space above it.

What’s left of the camper continues to smolder in the driveway.

The entire house and attic sustained smoke damage. The camper was a complete loss.

Curt Rainey, who is also Holt Fire District chaplain, has been to a number of fires.

“I’ve responded to a thousand of these,” he said. “I guess it’s my turn.”

No one knows why or how the camper caught fire. According to Rainey, he regularly checks on the camper two to three times a week.

“I just checked on it Saturday,” he said.

The parsonage is just two blocks from where a mobile home belonging to Judy Kasputis went up in flames in April. Holt Fire battled that blaze with help from Baker and Harold Fire Districts and Crestview Fire Department.

Following Kasputis’s fire, Rainey joined in with other volunteers to help clear charred debris from her lot.

“We want to extend our appreciation of the outstanding effort of our firefighters,” he said, “particularly how they rushed in to save the animals from the fire.”

News of the fire quickly spread throughout the community and many people stopped by to watch or offer support.

“We’ve had half the congregation stop by to tell us we can spend the night,” Rainey said.

Firehoses snake across the yard as firefighters search inside the house for any hot spots. The fire was contained to one room and the attic space above it.

Okaloosa County EMS and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

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