“Burn, baby, burn,” Diena Thompson, Somer’s mother, said when watching fire, according to a Florida Times-Union report.
The blaze was intentional — part of training for north Florida firefighters, reports indicate.
“There will never be closure,” she told the Times-Union. “It will never be over. But I definitely feel like it will be part of the healing process, not just for myself but for the entire community just not to have to look at that hellhole.”
Thompson assisted in the exercise by throwing a flare into home, the Times-Union reported. Orange Park Fire Chief Ty Silcox told the newspaper he thought it might “help her heal a little bit” to be part of the activity.
“I get to burn their house down,” Thompson told the Times-Union. “I’m the big bad wolf this time knocking down your door, not the other way around. It’s really nice to know that I’m not ever going to have to drive in this neighborhood again and see this piece of trash.”
The Times-Union reports that residents of the community also watched the fire.
Next-door neighbor Bethany Lee stood tightly clutching her 3-year-old son, Everett, as they watched the exercise unfold.“What’s happening in that house?” the boy asked his mother.“A bad man did a bad thing in that house and now they’re burning it down,” said Lee, 27. “It’s time for it to go.”