Fatal fire in Charlotte County on Christmas Day

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
A fire on Pine Street in Charlotte County killed one person. (CREDIT: Charlotte County Public Safety)

A fire in Port Charlotte claimed the life of one person on Christmas Day.

The smoke has subsided from the Charlotte County house fire.

“I just woke up about 3 a.m. to the siren lights, many of them going off? And I opened my front door and saw 10-foot flames off of her ceiling? Off of the roof,” said neighbor Danette Williams.

Charlotte County officials confirm 60-year-old Jennifer Dirrane’s home was engulfed in flames around 3:30 in the morning on Christmas.

Joan Bunker noticed the smoke from two doors down and became nervous. “Scared. Lights going, my dog actually woke me up. And then when I went back up to the pool, I seen the smoke again. And that kind of scared me because I thought it was starting up again.”

Fire crews put out the 10-foot flames. Neighbors told me losing Dirrane in the fire is very sad to deal with.

“My son’s visiting from Colorado right now for Christmas. Which, you know, kind of ruined our Christmas today, to say the least. But on the plus side, I got to meet a new neighbor,” said Williams.

The unfortunate tragedy brought the two neighboring women together in hopes of finding help in the case of an emergency.

“Being alone, you have a fear of something like this happening. And if my house was on fire, I would want whoever to break in and protect me,” said Bunker.

The fire has been ruled accidental and not suspicious by the state fire marshall and medical examiner.

Bunker said, “it absolutely breaks my heart to see something like this happen. So close to Christmas.”

“I just hope the family finds peace and losing their family member,” said Williams.

Dirrane’s family has been notified of her death.

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