Tiger Woods House Fire| Nassau County Lightning Proof

JUPITER ISLAND — Lightning touched off a fire that raged through a half-century-old beach house owned by golf superstar Tiger Woods, Martin County fire officials said Friday.

“The official cause is accidental — lightning strike,” Fire Marshal Jon Pasqualone said. “We found evidence of a lighting strike on the property and the electrical panel was just absolutely fried.”

Because the house’s storm shutters were closed and the resident who was renting the house had left for the summer, the fire spread through most of the house before the flames were noticed and firefighters were called, Pasqualone said. It does not look like the 2,682-square-foot wood-frame house — valued at more than $2 million — can be salvaged, Pasqualone said.

“We’re listing it as a total loss,” Pasqualone said.

The fire was reported at 7:42 a.m. in the 400 block of South Beach Road, Jupiter Island Police Capt. Barry Pawlak said.

“We found the house fully involved with fire,” Martin County Fire Rescue District Chief Jim Loffredo said. “The whole front section … the most burnt out area, the fire was coming out of there about 20 foot in the air flames.”

Firefighters from Jupiter Island, Martin County, Tequesta and Palm Beach County extinguished the blaze within about a half hour, Loffredo said.

Nearby buildings were not threatened by the fire, Pasqualone said.

A firefighter suffered heat exhaustion while battling the blaze, Loffredo said. He was treated at the scene and sent home.

South Beach Road, also known as State Road 707, was closed in both directions Friday morning while firefighters were working, Pawlak said.

Jupiter Island Police are monitoring the building until a representative of Woods can secure it, county fire officials said. Mazie St. John, the resident of the house, and Woods’ representatives have been contacted.

Woods owns the beach house that burned, a neighboring beach house and two nearby mansions, county records show. The properties were purchased in January 2006 for a total of $38 million and cover almost 10 acres from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean.

It was the largest single residential sale in Martin County history.

With an additional 2-acre purchase, Woods now has $44.5 million worth of property on Jupiter Island.

Woods, the world’s top-ranked golfer, was planning to demolish the main home on his properties on Jupiter Island.

No demolition or building permits have been submitted for Woods’ properties, said Terri Morgan, a permit specialist for the Town of Jupiter Island.

Woods and his family currently live full-time at an upscale, gated golf community southwest of Orlando.

In 2006, Woods was the world’s highest paid professional athlete, earning an estimated $100 million from winnings and endorsements.



Location: 400 block of South Beach Road

Lot size: 2/3 of an acre

House size: 2,682 square feet

Year built: 1956

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 4

Market value: $2,696,800

Property taxes paid in 2006: $16,443

Martin County Property