Crews battle major fire at iconic Florida mansion

Photo: WESH

COCOA BEACH, Fla. — Officials say a fire has destroyed an iconic Florida mansion once owned by USA Today founder Al Neuharth.

News outlets report fire crews responded to the blaze around 9 p.m. Tuesday in Cocoa Beach.

Cocoa Beach Fire Department Chief Ryan Duckworth says no one was injured in the blaze. The cause remains under investigation.

He described the property as a “total loss.”

The ocean-view property, called the Pumpkin Center, recently sold for nearly $5 million. The 10,000-square-foot estate was built in 1975.

After Neuharth died in April 2013, his wife, Dr. Rachel Fornes, lived there with her children until the estate was sold.

Property owner Jeffrey Wells told the Florida Today newspaper earlier this month that his intent was to allow people to hold weddings at the property, once renovations were complete.


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