Bible mostly untouched in large blaze at Glade County landmark

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PALMDALE, Fla. – It had certainly been in a fire — its cover welted in spots from the heat of flames. But Clewiston firefighters said one Bible recovered at the Palmdale Cracker had no water damage or fire damage to its pages.

A fire at the historic Glades County landmark broke out early Friday morning. Vibrant orange flames ripped through the store’s top floor, sending a large plume of smoke billowing into the sky.

Despite the flames, a sign out front that reads “The Palmdale Cracker: General merchandise and a bite to eat” still stood. Crews rushed to the spot, though store owner Larry Taylor said it took 45 minutes before anyone arrived. They fought the fire, but by the time the flames were extinguished, the second floor of the local hangout had been flattened and the building destroyed.

The Palmdale Cracker was deemed a total loss.

“It was the only nucleus that held these people together,” Taylor said Friday. “And now it’s gone.”

But in the Palmdale Cracker’s ruins, firefighters discovered a glimmer of hope. In a photo posted to Facebook, a firefighter holds a blue book. The words “Holy Bible” are visible through the black blisters that spot its cover.

In a message attached to the photo, Clewiston Fire and Rescue wrote:

“You won’t find atheists in the fire service…  Just remember it’s not always your brother or sister fire firefighter that has your back.”

The response from many people? “Amen.”



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