PALM BAY, Fla. — Investigators are still trying to determine how a Palm Bay home was destroyed by fire Monday night.

  • Home on Emerson Drive in Palm Bay destroyed by fire
  • Neighbors say those who lived in the home were just evicted
  • RELATED: More Brevard County coverage

No one was inside at the time, but there's still a mess out on the front lawn — not from the fire itself but trash, furniture, and kid's toys all over the place.

Neighbors say the people who lived in the home were just evicted.

Fire ripped through the Emerson Drive home around 9:30 Monday night.

Terry Peterman told Spectrum News he was in his living room and saw flashing lights across the street.

"(I) opened the blinds up, and the house is ablaze, burning through the roof," Peterman said. "It had been burning for a long time before the fire department got there."

The Romines live next door to the house and were watching TV in a back room. Unaware the fire was raging feet away, a neighbor came banging on their door.

"They came to the door and told us we needed to move our car and truck," Dawn Romines said.

"Flames were 10-12 feet over the house," Russ Romines said.

They said belongings from inside the home were removed earlier in the day, and spread out in the front yard. Plus, the same neighbors who warned them about the fire saw someone walking along the sidewalk right in front of the home.

"It looked suspicious because he walked right past the house, and it was already on fire, and that man paid no attention to it," Dawn said.

Palm Bay Fire Rescue and the State Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the cause to determine if it was arson or accidental.