Florida man found dead on his permitted burn

A 66-year old man identified as Warren Wimberly was found dead on his property 15 miles northwest of Ocala, Florida after his permitted agricultural burn got out of control. Here is an excerpt from an article at the Orlando Sentinel:

Fire rescue spokeswoman Miranda Iglesias said there were burns on his body but they do not know what caused his death.

Officials said the 66-year-old had a permit from the Florida Division of Forestry to burn the land for “agricultural” purposes, Iglesias said. The burn quickly turned into a raging fire and scorched three to five acres, she said.

Fire crews arrived on scene about 12:47 p.m. and found the man’s body in the field. The rural area is located about 15 miles northwest of Ocala.

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She said the victim and his wife, who was not hurt, were the only people monitoring the burn.

Fire crews are working to extinguish the blaze, which is under control, Iglesias said.

The State Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Florida man found dead on his permitted burn”

  1. 1) Back in college, I came across a decent sized field fire burning in overgrown hay and brush in another district.

    Being before cellphones, I drove about a mile up the road before I found someone home to use their phone, and returned to use my fire coat to swat out the fire along one flank that was exposing several old barns.

    Only after the local VFD arrived and started to gain control of the rest and the smoke lifted did we find the very elderly property owner who was working the head of the fire. He was alive, but talk about looking like a walking heart attack.

    2) One of the strangest tales in my own fire company, we went out for a medical call one day.

    On arriving, there was smoke from behind the neighbor’s across the street.

    With enough help at the medical call, a Lieutenants went to investigate the smoke…found a pile of yard waste being burned that now involved some nearby grass and brush, and the deceased elderly homeowner smoldering, sitting on a stone wall.

    As I recall, the Medical Examiner’s guess was he had fallen, received extensive but not fatal burns, sat down, had a heart attack, then the fire extended to where he had been sitting.


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