Several different brush fires broke out in Southwest Florida Friday. That included two in Lehigh Acres where a home was damaged and another in Immokalee where it threatened others.
Crews rushed to protect several homes from the flames. We are in dry season, and firefighters want you to be prepared in case a brush fire breaks out nearby.
The neighbor whose home was damaged in the 400 block of Johns Avenue Lehigh told us he smelled smoke and looked out the window to see the whole area on fire. He told us the fire started burning his roof and the side of his home.
“The wind was blowing it up like unbelievable,” Michael Anderson said.
A 1-acre brush fire spread to his home.
“They put a hole through the roof to make sure because the fire went inside the roof,” Anderson said.
Firefighters stopped the blaze and saved Anderson’s home before it was too late, but fire officials say there are easy steps you can take now to prevent this from happening to you.
“Clean off your roof. Clean out your gutters, anything that’s really dead and dry,” said Amy Bollen, the director of public relations for South Trail Fire District. “Remove that from immediately around your house.”
Bollen also recommends trimming trees that touch your home and watering as much as you can.
“Prevention is done before a fire occurs,” Bollen said.
It’s advice Anderson and his loved ones will take.
“You don’t think that’s going to happen, not you,” Anderson said with a laugh.
“He was OK. The dogs were OK,” Jessica Reed said. “So that’s the most important part. Like I said, the house can be replaced. People and animals can’t.”
Bollen says, if you live in a rural area next to a wooded area, it’s also a good idea to have a to-go kit —something with essentials inside that you can grab in an instant in case you are asked to evacuate.