House destroyed by fire in North Fort Myers, family displaced

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
The aftermath of a house fire in North Fort Myers. Credit: WINK News

A fire tore through a house in North Fort Myers early Friday morning, leaving two parents and their 18-year-old without a home just ahead of Christmas.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office captured video of the flames engulfing the home on Washington Drive around 12:20 a.m. The North Fort Myers Fire District was able to put the fire out before 1 a.m., but the house had been gutted, leaving only charred remains.

One dog made it out with the family, three of the other pets did not survive.

The fire was caused by a heat lamp on the family’s back porch.

Linda Stefanosky didn’t see the fire that burned down her son’s home. But she got that call that no parent ever wants to get.

Then, she raced to his North Fort Myers neighborhood. “I came here as fast as I could to find Michelle and the ambulance and my son watching the house burn down,” said Stefanosky.

The fire was still blazing as she arrived, and now the house is completely gone. She says many memories, good and bad, burned up in that home.

“Me and my late husband got married here in the backyard. He’s since passed away in 2012,” said Linda. “My son had cancer here also passed away in 2007 so and now this. There’s a lot of Christmases, a lot of joy and laughter and love.”

Linda’s son Marvin, his girlfriend, Michelle and her 18-year-old daughter Rayne aren’t really sure what’s next for their family.

Rayne is on the Autism spectrum. Kaitlyn Terrell is Michelle’s goddaughter. She also raced to the scene and helped Rayne understand and cope with the fact that she lost everything.

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