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Firefighter's home nearly destroyed in fire

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By Lauren Sage Reinlie, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach <P> Dec. 17--SHALIMAR -- The home of an Ocean City-Wright firefighter was almost destroyed in a large fire Saturday night. <P> Battalion Chief Scott Funchess had just returned from the fire department's Christmas party and was watching television with his two daughters when they heard a loud noise outside about 10 p.m., according to the fire department. <P> When Funchess went outside he found his truck in flames. He tried to extinguish the fire with a garden hose, but it was moving too fast. It quickly spread to a second vehicle, the carport and then the attic of the home. <P> Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 30 minutes and were able to save part of the home, but two cars, the carport and master bedroom were completely destroyed and the roof was almost entirely burnt off. <P> No one was injured, according to the fire department. <P> Firefighters were at the scene until 3 a.m. Sunday. The state fire marshal's office said the cause of the fire was accidental. <P> The cost of the damages is about $100,000 and the home is unlivable, said Fire Captain Ryan Christen. <P> "It's a very unfortunate situation," he said. "It's not often that it's one of our own that we're responding to." <P> Funchess planned to sleep at the fire house Sunday night and his two daughters are staying with relatives, Christen said. <P> "Where they are going to go from here is still undetermined," Christen said. <P> Firefighters are working to recover any items from the house that can be salvaged and to help Funchess and his daughters through the holidays. <P> A donation fund has been set up at: www.iaff2879.org. Donated items can be taken to Fire Station One on Racetrack Road. <P> More information can be found on the fire station's Facebook page or by calling 850-862-1185. <P> Contact Daily News Staff Writer Lauren Sage Reinlie at 850-315-4443 or lreinlie@nwfdailynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @LaurenRnwfdn. <P> ___ <P> ©2012 the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) <P> Visit the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) at www.nwfdailynews.com <P> Distributed by MCT Information Services<P>A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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