First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Unchecked Fire Takes Two Homes on Unprotected Island

Florida Paradise Has No Roads – No Fire Protection

UPPER CAPTIVA ISLAND, LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA, is one of those barrier islands on Florida's Gulf Coast that is home to a few hundred homeowner who value their privacy and have no roads of vehicles as well as no land bridge to their community.  Many of the homes are million-dollar mansions.  Two of them burned down Sunday morning as stiff winds fanned the fire and caused it to spread to the second abode.


The fire began just after 9 am when a generator misfired making an explosive sound and started the first blaze.  As the wind blew it larger it also caused the next house in the lane to catch alight and a third one narrowly escaped with just smoke and heat damage.

The island does have a small volunteer fire brigade, but they are seriously short on equipment and organization.  The call went out to all neighboring counties for assistance which could only arrive by boat and while several FD were able respond, it was 45 minutes before the first crew arrived.  By then the homes were fully involved.

WBBH-TV has the full story HERE.

Ch. 2 also filed this video report: WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

Thanks to Kirby B.

Note:  The Captiva Fire Control District that provides protection for the unincorporated areas of Lee County offered in 2011 to expand their coverage to include Upper Captiva Island.  After several months of debate, the citizens of the island voted this past August to decline the coverage.

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