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Fire rips through attic of Lehigh Acres home

By MELISSA BILL - | Feb 10, 2021

news@breezenewspapers.com

A Lehigh Acres home suffered substantial damage after an electrical fire sparked in the attic last week.

The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District responded to the home fire on Willow Drive early Feb. 3.

There were no injuries.

The fire was in the Eisenhower neighborhood, according to Katie Heck, LAFCRD spokesperson.

“We responded at 4:29 a.m. and were on scene for approximately four hours. The estimated property losses were at $85,000. The fire was contained to the attic but the house sustained water and smoke damage. We determined the cause of the fire to be electrical related to the AC unit. The resident heard a loud noise and when he got up to investigate, he observed smoke coming from the attic. He pulled down the attic hatch and observed flames. No one was injured,” Heck said.

Local American Red Cross volunteers from the  Florida Gulf Coast to Heartland  Chapter  also responded  to aid those affected, two adults and a child. The volunteer members of the Disaster Action Team helped coordinate emergency aid to those affected. 

“The Red Cross is helping the two people affected by this blaze. The Red Cross provided emergency financial assistance, relief items like toiletries, health and mental health services, one-on-one support to connect people to available recovery assistance and will continue to provide additional support to the family to meet their disaster-caused needs,” Siara  Campbell, American Red Cross  spokesperson said.

The Red Cross offers steps to take both before and during a house fire.

• Test your smoke alarms monthly.

• Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.

• Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.

• Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they need to be replaced because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Having a plan on what to do if a fire should happen in one’s home is crucial.

The Red Cross suggests:

• Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes.

• Include at least two ways to exit every room in your home.

• Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.

• Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.

Brush/wildfires

Southwest Florida is still experiencing the dry season, which can sometimes result in unsuspecting brush or wildfires to pop up or be created inadvertently.

To prepare, keep your yard:

• Lean – with small amounts of flammable vegetation. Prune shrubs and cut back tree branches.

• Clean – with no accumulation of dead vegetation. Remove dead leaves, dry grass, and stacked firewood.

• Green – with healthy, green, and fire-resistant vegetation. Water your landscaping as permitted.

Additional information and resources can be found at redcross.org/homefires or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App by visiting redcross.org/apps.