Fire crews are battling a residential fire that has now destroyed at least seven homes in the Emerald Pointe community on Marion Avenue in Punta Gorda Wednesday afternoon.
This was a two-story condo building with multiple homes inside, all of which were destroyed.
Charlotte County Fire and EMS said the fire jumped a canal and also set a boat on fire.
And, almost eight hours later, firefighters are still at the scene and dousing the remnants of the building with water. State fire marshal investigators are trying to determine how this fire started.
Todd Dunn is the public information officer for Charlotte County Fire and EMS. “The wind was blowing strong that direction towards the far end of the building. And the fire just went all the way down. through that building. Part of it got underneath in the crawl-space,” Dunn said.
No injuries have been reported. But, the Red Cross did say they assisted three of the families from Emerald Pointe. They also said that that number could increase as families return or reconsider accepting aid.
Four Red Cross volunteers were sent to Punta Gorda to offer aid.
And, those who live nearby or in other parts of the complex were stunned by what they’d seen Wednesday afternoon. Ozzi Morales once lived in the home where the fire started before selling it two months ago.
“They lost everything. But the good part is that they’re all safe and alive,” Morales said.
“And I saw the fire on the front door… which is on the side wall here. And it was starting there,” said Morales.
Charlotte County fire added that the call came in as the stairs to a deck being on fire. Because of Wednesday’s strong winds, it wasn’t long before the whole building caught fire.
And with the winds, at least two boats caught fire and had to be cut loose before it burned the harbor. “It’s hard for firefighters to lose a building like this. And it’s even harder for… if it was your home, you know. And now you’re just trying to figure out what you’re going to do,” Dunn said.
@winknews @Fox4Now emerald pointe fire in Punta Gorda. pic.twitter.com/WkoTho8acB
— George (@GTWilliamsonEsq) March 30, 2022
Firefighters are to remain at Emerald Pointe throughout the night to make sure that flames do not spark back up. Charlotte Fire and EMS did say the risk to other building such lower now that the strong winds have died down.