3 brush fires, 2 days, 1 arrest, 1 home destroyed in Lehigh Acres

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LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.- Deputies arrested a 15-year-old who is accused of starting a 50-acre brush fire that destroyed one home.

The teenager is facing a felony arson charge, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, in relation to the fire that burned near Nacelle Avenue South and Ravenswood Street East Wednesday. Deputies had deemed the fire suspicious before announcing their arrest and say the teen was playing with a lighter near National Avenue South and Ravenswood Street East.

Only a stove, and the family’s dining table stood smoldering at the destroyed home, located at Navarra Avenue South and Rachel Street. Six charred chairs remained as reminders of the people affected by the blaze.

“What do I do? What am I going to do now? That’s what it looks like to me.” a family member said. “Where do I go from here? That was everything. Everything we owned.”

The woman said she called 911 as the fire took on her home then was told to leave. Her home was not spared. Next-door neighbors said fire crews arrived just in time to save her home.

“If he had not have been here to spray that hose, this fire would have definitely came over. It would have came into our yard and it would have gotten our house,” she said. “It feels like God looked over us. He knew that we couldn’t afford to lose our home.”

The fire was 100 percent contained around 6 p.m. after burning for hours, the Caloosahatchee Forestry Center said.

Less than 20 miles away, another fire burned at Wallace Avenue South near Meadow Road and Southwest 30th Street. No word on how large that fire was, but the two fires in Lehigh Acres burned less than 20 miles away from Tuesday’s fire on Eisenhower Boulevard.

Homeowners in the Sentinela Boulevard, Columbus Avenue, and Sunrise Boulevard areas were all evacuated while firefighters battled the flames.

Homeowners are unable to reach their homes were asked to gather at Veterans Park off Homestead Road, where Red Cross workers arrived to assist evacuees.

A shed was also destroyed in the fire, firefighter said. No injuries have been reported at this time.

“We saw the smoke from our house… It was about four streets away,” said Sherra Greathouse. “It just seconds it fled through the neighborhood and we had to knock on people’s houses and tell them to get out.”

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