• 1 injured in DeLand house fire, explosion


    DELAND, Fla. - DeLand firefighters spent most of Friday at a house fire where there were reports of a possible explosion.

    George Stokes, 65, was injured in the fire and has been flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center, according to DeLand police. His condition is unknown at this time.

    Witnesses told authorities there was an explosion prior to the blaze.

    "The worst explosion you could ever imagine," said neighbor David Van Zandt. "I can't even, you could've heard it downtown, I'm sure. It's just incredible."

    Van Zandt said the explosion was so loud and hard that it shattered some of his dishes.

    One of the biggest challenges in fighting the fire was that the home was surrounded by thick, heavy brush and spot fires popped up all afternoon.

    "We have jumpers. They're jumping all over throughout the woods and we're having to battle those before those spread," said Nicholas Castelli of Volusia County Fire Services.

    Van Zandt said he even got out his garden hose to help.

    "If those woods go, we're going to lose this block. That's a real concern right now," he said.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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