Sparks flying

Sterling Creek fire alarms students in surrounding neighborhoods


photo by Savannah Hobbs

The Sterling Creek blaze encroaches on residential territory.

Aleena Orr, Journalism I

Junior Kaitlyn Reeves was in the middle of eating ice cream at Jeremiah’s Italian Ice when she got a phone call from her mom, saying she needed to get home. They were being evacuated. On April 8, the wildfire had spread to where Reeves lived  in Sterling Creek.

“As soon as her voice started cracking, I started crying. All I could see in my head was my house burning and losing everything and I just prayed that God would watch over everyone and everything as the fire was being fought,” Reeves said.

Reeves rushed home, but was already evacuated and left to go stay at her boyfriend’s house. Her mom had only been able to get her two dogs, some clothes and important documents. Reeves’ family had seen thick ash falling on their house and could not even see behind their house.

“It was especially scary because my dad was on a flight to India for work, so it was just my mom and I dealing with the situation,” said Reeves.

But the Reeves family was not the only family affected by this catastrophe.

At the same time, junior Savannah Hobbs was just finishing prom pictures as her family watched firefighters put out some of the fire.

“When I was at prom, I kept getting calls and texts about my house. I didn’t even realize how close it was,” said Hobbs.

The back screen was the only part of Hobbs’ house that was damaged from fire. The family is living in a hotel as of right now due to all the smoke that entered the house.

“Our house is still standing and we are so thankful for that,” said Hobbs.

Over 165 acres were destroyed by the fire, evacuating families from more than 100 homes. One hundred people were also evacuated from a nearby Girl Scout camp in Chuluota.

Junior Katelyn Fee and her family were another one of the many families involved in the wildfire.

Fee’s parents knew about the fire and were told it was not serious, so they left that day to go run errands, leaving Fee and her little brother home alone. There was an optional evacuation at the time, so they just stayed home. After an hour, the dark black cloud of smoke was getting closer and closer to their home, so Fee took action. She and her brother packed overnight bags, took the dogs and left for Lake Mills to wait for her parents.

“The fire made it into our backyard and burned all our grass, but it didn’t burn our house. Now everything just smells strongly of smoke,” Fee said.

After they met up with their parents, they went to a nearby friend’s home and watched the news to see what was happening. Fee and some friends went back to see what condition the house was in, only to find out it burned all of their grass.

“When I left my house, I was so scared that my parents were going to get stuck inside and never make it out. In the end, my family was okay, and I will always remember to leave as soon as possible if this ever happens to me again,” said Fee.