Massive Overnight Fire as Dining Hall Erupts in Flames, Camp Keystone, Florida Division

July 22, 2013
Christopher Priest | | (404) 728-6704

Various summer camp programs at the Camp Keystone (Florida Division) continue despite Saturday morning's three-alarm fire that destroyed the camp's largest building -- its dining hall.

The Florida Fire Marshal's office, which is still trying to determine the cause of the blaze, says the fire started in the laundry area of the building and caused an estimated $3 million in damage.

More than 300 campers and staff were sleeping when a Bradford County deputy discovered the fire about 2 a.m.  Two-dozen fire crews from Bradford and Clay counties and the city of Starke assisted in fighting the three-alarm fire that destroyed the building.

Those campers in a cabin closest to the dining hall were evacuated.  No one was injured in the fire. The dining hall, originally built in the mid 1970's, has undergone renovations in the last few years, but is now a charred shell.

The annual Music Conservatory final concert went ahead as planned with a capacity audience from parents and friends around the division. One counsellor was reported to say to the media "They were singing & dancing in the tabernacle just like nothing ever happened." On Saturday morning breakfast consisted of Pop Tarts and juice. The counsellor also stated "so the day is going on fine." The Jacksonville Area Command canteen arrived and served through the weekend.

Later on Sunday, a 53 ft mobile feeding kitchen rolled into Camp from the Divisional EDS base in Tampa. The kitchen, having seen service at hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, will now provide meals for campers and staff for the remainder of the camping season.

Please pray for Captains Platt the newly appointed DYS's; Tony & Pam Bellis, camp caretakers, staff and campers at Keystone.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Copyright 2019, The Salvation Army. 
Privacy Policy | Contact Us