Witness: Oil Well Road fire was "like a wall of fire"

Posted at 12:28 AM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 06:56:21-04

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- Fire officials say the Oil Well Road fire that broke out in Punta Gorda Wednesday is now 95% contained. No homes were damaged and no one was injured.

The 180-acre fire sparked around 2 p.m. Wednesday near Oil Well Road. The fire threatened two homes in the area; it came within feet of Sherry Johnson's home. 

"I tried to bring my hose around to water the back of my house and the heat was so intense I just said, 'I just can’t do this.' I just stopped," said Johnson. "I was shaken."

Johnson said she came home to the flames in her backyard around 2 p.m. 

“It was so high; it was just like a wall, I haven’t seen anything like it,” said Johnson. 

The Charlotte Country Fire Department (CCFD) subdued the fire with assistance from a community service response team. A spokesperson for CCFD said high winds helped fuel the fire. 

"The winds have created a challenge all day long," said Dee Hawkins-Garland. "With the drought index we have this is one of the those challenges we have with the dry brush."