Fire at abandoned home in Suncoast Estates called ‘suspicious’

Author: Amy Galo
Published: Updated:

A giant fire caused huge flames and smoke to rise into the air over the weekend.

The fire was at the Suncoast Estates Community, near Paynd Lane and Nault Drive.

What was left behind were charred household items and a shell of a house.

“I’ve never seen a fire that get that much out of control,” said Mike Matthews, a next-door neighbor in the North Fort Myers community.

Early Sunday morning, the house was engulfed in flames that almost burned Matthews’ home down. He lives right behind it.

“I was really worried that the rest of that tree was going to catch on fire and then come over to these trees and jump over, but the firemen did a good job,” Matthews said.

Everyone in the home made it out safely.

A fire in the Sun Coast Estate community was under investigation. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“Nobody was hurt and no damage over here,” he said. “So I’m grateful.”

But according to the North Fort Myers Fire Department, no one is supposed to live in the house.

The previous owners abandoned the place, and the people that made it out alive were squatters.

Did those people start the fire?

The fire department won’t say that, only that since there’s no power in the house, the cause was not electrical.

For now, the cause is listed as “undetermined.”

The fire department confirmed it responded to multiple medical calls to the same house and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested several people on the same street, in a drug bust, in 2018.

During that drug bust detectives arrested six people for possession of 212 grams of heroin, 15.5 grams of crack cocaine and 39 grams of oxycodone.

Neighbors said they’ve always known the house was a drug house and in the last six months, they’ve seen LCSO deputies at the home at least twice.

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