[UPDATE] Morning Fire Destroys Home on County Lane in Tallahassee

By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro; Leon County Sheriff's Office Release Email
By: Eyewitness News; Julie Montanaro; Leon County Sheriff's Office Release Email

UPDATED 5:40pm by Lanetra Bennett and Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee man dies in a car crash and his home goes up in smoke the same day.

29 year old Matthew Dunlop died when his SUV hit a utility pole. While deputies were still on the scene, they discovered Dunlop's house just a few miles away was on fire.

"He had to be moving pretty fast to tear the top back like that. He probably didn't feel it when he hit," Harry Mosley said as he watched deputies at the crash scene.

Leon County Sheriff's deputies say the driver of a crushed Isuzu SUV died at the scene.

Investigators say around 6:45 Friday morning, Matthew Dunlop was going west on Highway 90 when he ran off the road.

Deputies say the SUV hit a pole just past Aenon Church Road.

"The truck was all folded back, the side of it all torn out," John Lee Ervin said as he stood nearby.

Deputies would soon discover that Dunlop's home was on fire not far away.

"Flames were as tall as you could see,' next door neighbor Barbara Shepard said. "They were taller than the trees. The house just went up like a flame ... huge ... everywhere."

Firefighters were called to this home on Country Lane at 7:40 am.

They call the home a total loss and the cause is still under investigation.

Deputies say Dunlop rents the house. The man next door told his wife he smelled smoke when he left for work around 7am, but thought someone was burning leaves.

"He (Dunlop) works really early in the morning. He leaves here at like six o'clock in the morning and he comes home at lunchtime most of the week, but I haven't seen him today," Shepard said.

The state fire marshal is invsetigating the fire. There is no word on the cause and right now no one is commenting on whether this is all a terrible coincidence or something more.

Tallahassee, Florida- August 10, 2012

At 6:45 am, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of West Tennessee Street in reference to a traffic crash. When Deputies arrived, they discovered a single car crash with one fatality. Deputies believe that Matthew S. Dunlop, 29, was traveling west on West Tennessee Street, just west of the intersection of Aenon Church Road. The 1994 Isuzu Rodeo Dunlop was driving left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Dunlop died at the scene.

At 7:40 am, a Leon County Deputy was patrolling the area of 1550-C Country Lane when he observed the residence was on fire. The Tallahassee Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. The State Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the scene of the fire. Deputies and Firefighters have confirmed that Dunlop lived in the burned residence on Country Lane.

An autopsy was completed and the preliminary results indicate that Dunlop died from injuries sustained in the crash. The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash is on going. The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time; however, that investigation is ongoing also.

Additional information will be provided when available.

UPDATED 8.10.2012 3:30pm by Julie Montanaro

Leon County deputies say the home that went up in flames was being rented by 29-year-old Matthew Dunlop. Deputies say he is the same man who died in a crash at the corner of Highway 90 and Aenon Church Road.


UPDATED 8.10.2012 2pm by Julie Montanaro

Investigators with the Florida State Fire Marshals Office have finished their on scene investigation.

They wore boots and used shovels to examine the rubble of a home at 1550 C Country Lane.

They say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A neighbor says the flames were higher than the trees. She says she could feel the heat from her back porch.

She says the man who lives there rents the home, and usually leaves for work early in the morning, but she has not seen him today.


Tallahassee, Florida - August 10, 2012 - 11:30am by Julie Montanaro

Investigators are still on the scene of a morning house fire that destroyed a Tallahassee home.

Firefighters were called to a home on Country Lane just before 7am.

Deputy Fire Chief Wes Roberts with the Tallahassee Fire Department says the house is a total loss.

He says no one was home at the time of the fire and the cause has not yet been determined.

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