Fire Destroys 80-Year Old Man’s Camper At Lake Stone, The Second Time In Five Weeks

February 12, 2020

For the second time in just over five weeks, fire destroyed an 80-year old man’s camper at Lake Stone in Century.

The recreational vehicle fire was reported shortly before 3 a.m. Wednesday. Victim Neal Koe said he woke up to find the camper on fire; he was able to escape without injury.

The fire also heavily damaged his pickup truck.

About 3:45 a.m. on January 4, fire destroyed Koe’s camper at Lake Stone. That fire was blamed on a heater, but Koe said he was not using a heater Wednesday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office was called.

After losing the first camper to fire, Koe moved the used RV that burned Wednesday morning into the county-owned park about three weeks ago. He considered Lake Stone as his primary residence.

The Century and McDavid stations of Escambia Fire Rescue responded.

Previous stories:

Fire Destroys Travel Trailer At Lake Stone Campground, Leaving Man Without A Home

80-Year Old Man Working To Recover From Lake Stone Camper Fire. Here’s How You Can Help. photos, click to enlarge.


19 Responses to “Fire Destroys 80-Year Old Man’s Camper At Lake Stone, The Second Time In Five Weeks”

  1. Granny on February 14th, 2020 9:22 pm

    Good grief. Let me set you straight. All the sites on The lake are max 14 day stay. All those other sites you can stay as long as you like. And FYI those full timers are better than the park staying empty. That is providing some revenue for the county.
    Now , why don’t you rally together and help this poor soul out. He is retired and just trying to enjoy his life. He is having a run of bad luck. No doubt.

  2. TAllen on February 14th, 2020 2:28 pm

    To the one that is so worried about this man staying there more than the 14 days…Let me just say this, if you knew more about it then just wanting to push him your research before popping off. I believe in one article I read that he was once the caretaker for Lake Stone for years. Until he got to old to do so, at that point he just stuck around as he considered it his residence(his home).Now at 80 it may be hard to just up and relocate.Maybe he was allowed to stay on because of who he is or was(caretaker). Maybe thats why he is considered exempt from that law about 14 days ONLY …Okay ….and your welcome for the SCHOOL, I just gave you!

  3. 14 Day Stay on February 13th, 2020 3:40 pm

    If he drives the camper off the property for a day and returns, a new 14 day period starts, right?

  4. Resident on February 13th, 2020 1:38 pm

    “”"Some of you obviously have no compassion. “”"”

    It’s not about compassion. It’s about Lake Stone has a 14 day maximum stay and he has been there for years.The 14 days is a county policy. Why has it not been followed?

  5. Trisha on February 13th, 2020 1:25 pm

    Some of you obviously have no compassion. A lot of seniors live in campers. If you are on a fixed income it is difficult to come up with apartment deposit + last month rent + current month rent. You are talking way over a $1,000. Some people like living where they can appreciate the out doors. I would not want to live in a complex where people yell all of the time, kids running around unsupervised, police visit numerous times for a variety of reasons, loud music. Just saying, some are not as fortunate as others. Or some prefer solitude. Extremely unfortunate and I hope authorities figure out what is going on.

  6. just sayin on February 13th, 2020 8:46 am

    Is this a campground or a trailer park? How are people other than the care taker living on this property at length?

  7. Amy on February 12th, 2020 8:14 pm

    William , do you know if this fella needs like clothes, furniture, kitchen wares (pots pans dishes towels etc etc) and any and all necessities we folks like me take for granted each day till something like this happens. I am moving in a month or so and I’m literally not taking much of my overflowing “things” where I’m moving to. Can you direct me if you know how I can donate to him? I live in Molino. Thank you for your help. My dad passed away at 80 and my heart goes out to this fella thinking of my dad. He would have been first onscene to offer help in all ways. It’s my turn now ☺ Thank you.

  8. JustSaying on February 12th, 2020 4:09 pm

    Maybe this gentleman has friends that see about him there! And it is cheaper to stay there. Maybe he has no family anywhere. Maybe he has had bad luck.

    Seems like some of you want to add to it! Call the county on him, you have a place to stay, so who cares about him? Why not help instead of hurt or at least keep quiet!

  9. BC on February 12th, 2020 1:30 pm

    If anyone has ever endured the pain of losing everything in a fire then you understand the heartbreak. I agree it’s peculiar for it happen to same person in such a short period of time but he’s lost everything nonetheless. Northescambia, please update if donation information becomes available. Looks to me like the man doesn’t even have a toothbrush left!

  10. Bitsy on February 12th, 2020 12:12 pm

    So does he have a place to stay? Clothes, food, etc? Any family in the area that can help?

  11. Kevin on February 12th, 2020 10:42 am

    The number one cause of RV fires start at the refirdgerator. When the amonia leaks out the coil is still running. It gets hot. Catches the wall and back of fridge on fire. Number one reason to leave fridge off when in storage. They dont have a traditional pump like home units

  12. Chasity Schweikert on February 12th, 2020 9:46 am

    Everyone on here being negative abiut this poor old man , a camper is way cheaper to live in instead of renting a home from someone . maybe instead of down talking the man , maybe give him a lending hand help him out give him a place to sleep instead of saying hes to old . lets talk about how many old people are homeless no ones griping that there to old to be sleeping on th3 ground.. Just my opinion

  13. Allen cBelow gallina on February 12th, 2020 9:41 am

    It looks like someone is out to kill him.

  14. tg on February 12th, 2020 9:22 am

    If mr Koe didnt have Bad Luck he wouldnt have any Luck at all.

  15. Oversight on February 12th, 2020 9:20 am

    Lake Stone Camp ground needs to get back to being that, a place where someone camps for recreational purposes for a few days or a week or two. What say you BOCC, continue with long term living arrangements?

  16. sam on February 12th, 2020 8:51 am

    looks like this man needs some help. he obviously can’t take care of himself. he is lucky he hasn’t burned himself up.

  17. JimC42 on February 12th, 2020 8:37 am

    I wasn’t aware that you could move onto county recreation areas permanently.

  18. Hot spot on February 12th, 2020 7:03 am

    Sound to me like its time to move might not be an accident twice in less than five weeks both times in early morning if I am correct. Sound like someone is out to get this gentleman thank God he made it out.

  19. john on February 12th, 2020 7:02 am

    He may want to give up on camping!

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.