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FL: Christmas Tree Electrical Fire ends in $100,000’s of Damage

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Cape Coral, Florida. -The owner of a Cape Coral country store hopes to rebuild after an electrical fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. We’re told it sparked near a Christmas tree.

Outside, pieces of the building are still scattered about.  You can see the yellow tape surrounds the front, and the building is boarded up.  It’s unsafe to go inside, where you could once find special antiques and country collections

“Everything is gone. We didn’t think it looked so bad when we were standing outside. But there’s really nothing much left,” said owner Donna Freeman.

She is devastated. With Christmas around the corner, she was looking forward to a busy season. Instead, she is picking up the pieces of her dream business, which we’re told, she recently remodeled. She calls her country store “Rustic Gatherings” and today it’s a gathering of friends, co-workers and the customers she loves giving hugs of support.

“I just want to thank the people that came and the sent emails, and posted on their Facebook,” she said.  “Again, it makes me cry. I love that, and will never be able to repay that kindness.”

“I just said hi, and dropped off some muffins and told her to hang in there,” said a customer.

The sign outside says “Heart N Home” but Freeman acquired the country store this year and had not yet changed the name. Now a lot more changes are in store after Thursday morning’s blaze consumed an estimated $200,000 of merchandise and building.

Flames could be seen from the roof. WINK-TV has learned it sparked accidentally, near a Christmas tree, and is electrical in nature “If you look on the big picture, we’re ok. No one was hurt and no one is dead,” said Freeman.

Some of the surrounding businesses have some smoke damage. At this time, its unclear when this country store will open again but they are hoping to rebuild as soon as possible.

Story via winknews.com

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FL: $150,000 Damage in Electrical Fire

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- An early morning electrical fire on Monday caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to a Southeast Cape Coral home. The fire was attributed to an electrical overload.

Around 3:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a 911 call reporting a structure fire at 925 SE 4th Place. Upon arrival, fire crews found the garage engulfed in flames and smoke throughout the home. With assistance from the police, all five occupants were evacuated from the smoke-filled structure. Fire crews were able to bring the blaze under control within 30 minutes, even with the presence of hurricane shutters, which blocked access to many of the windows.

Firefighters rescued two of the family’s five cats that were trapped in the home, and the three remaining cats later were found alive and hiding. Two dogs also were evacuated safely from the home.

A fire inspector arrived on scene and determined that the fire started around the front of the garage. An outside electrical cord lying in mulch was connected under the garage door to timers attached to a breaker box in the garage. The electrical connection appeared to be powering outdoor Halloween decorations.

The Red Cross and LCEC responded to the residence to assist.

The hurricane shutters on the home were a source of serious concern for the City’s Fire Department.

“We encourage our residents to remove hurricane shutters unless there is an imminent storm threat to our city,” said Fire Chief Bill Van Helden. “Covering windows with hurricane panels not only prevents firefighters from being able to effectively attack a residential fire, it also blocks points of escape for the occupants of the home.”

Story via winknews.com