Controlled burn creates soot mess for Melbourne residents



MELBOURNE, Fla. - A controlled burn for a new medical complex in Melbourne is creating a messy situation for nearby residents.

They said the wind is carrying soot and grime into their Americana Resort community, and dumping it on everything.

“I came over to walk (my dog) this morning, had a white shirt on, and before I could ever get the dog walked I was totally black,” said resident Phyllis Brunning. “I had to go take a shower.”

Residents said a layer of soot, dust and grime is collecting on cars and all over homes.

A few miles away, it’s the same story at the Countrywalk community on the other side of the construction site.

Residents there said they have to deal with a layer of ash every day.

“It will burn your throat,” Dennis Kastle said.

The Florida Fire Service, which issues burn permits, went out to the neighborhoods to assess the situation.

Officials said they found no violations from developer Eric Wooten, but still decided to set new guidelines after residents complained.

“We’re trying to do this with the least amount of inconvenience to everybody involved,” Wooten said.

Wooten said he’s actively listening to concerns, and after visiting one of the communities himself, he said he plans to contract a cleaning service to help deal with the showering soot.

None of it will be too soon for residents who are feeling smoked out.

“I’d like to see them come over here and take care of all the consequences of their burning,” said resident Marvin Tubbs.

The developer said he is using a special incinerator to minimize smoke, and encourages residents with concerns to contact home directly at the company Rent a Bob Cat.