Cape Coral Fire Department says a family’s home was destroyed in a fire in north Cape Coral Thursday night.
Firefighters and police were in the 400 block of NE 24th Avenue responding to a house fire. The scene was south of the intersection with Pondella Road and NE 25th Ave.
CCFD confirmed a mother and two boys were inside the house, who all got out safely. The mother told us they also have a cat that made it out OK.
Several neighbors say they heard an explosion and saw flames from the home.
“All of a sudden, my stepson, Aiden, he started screaming,” neighbor Jose Perez said. “So I asked him why was he screaming, and he told me the house across the street is on fire.”
“I was sitting on the back porch, light started flickering,” next-door neighbor Dennis McCartney said. “I heard pops came out, and the house was on fire.”
Crews have not determined how the fire started, but neighbors say they believe it started in the garage of the house.
McCartney says the flames were so big, he feared his home would go up in flames next.
“When the fire got really intense, it was scary,” McCartney said. “You could stand up on the front porch and feel the heat from it.”
The mother spoke to us off camera and told us she and her two boys are thankful to be safe, but they are still dealing with the loss of their entire home and their belongings.
“I’m going to cry because I am an emotional person, but it’s horrible. I feel so bad for them,” neighbor Courtney Eaumer said. “They have nothing left. Like absolutely nothing.”
We reached out to the American Red Cross, and it said it’s opened an emergency case and will do what it can to help the family and assess the family’s needs.
According to CCFD, the fire was started by “improperly disposed-of smoking materials in the garage.”
“You work hard for everything that you get, and then to lose it in just a matter of minutes or seconds is not very easy to take,” Perez said.