Golden Gate Estates house fire leaves family homeless, kills dog

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A fire has left a Golden Gate Estates home unlivable for several people, and the family dog is believed to have been killed in the flames.

WINK News was told there were nine people on the property, along with two dogs, at the time of the fire. It all started around 10 p.m., Wednesday. Only one of the dogs got out of the house after the flames began spreading.

When Great Naples Fire Rescue arrived, the house was fully engulfed, and everyone ran out as soon as they could.

WINK News spoke with Melody Gray and Matt Joslin, who were both inside the home at the time. They said they are thankful to be alive and safe, especially because the fire happened before everyone went to bed but said there was a lot of panic involved.

“It had started in the crawl-space area, and we probably should’ve thought a little bit sooner, but we opened the cross-space, and that’s when it got air and took off, so it was like a backdraft to it. It wasn’t very nice, it wasn’t fun, scared. We ran down the stairs… and it just took over the whole hallway,” Joslin said.

The whole hallway, and moments later, the whole house all went up in flames. A shell is all that remains after the fire tore through the home.

“Jeff, he’s a little white chihuahua, he didn’t make it. But, I mean, my boyfriend tried to save him. He jumped on the balcony and he kicked the A/C unit in, and he was calling for him, he heard him whining, but then he didn’t hear him anymore, so he already knew. Plus, there was too much smoke, so he would’ve been burned up,” Gray said.

“If it would’ve happened hours later, we would’ve been sleeping and probably died here,” Joslin said.

They believe the cause of the fire was lightning, but WINK News reached out to Greater Naples Fire Rescue to confirm.

For the time being, everyone says the victims plan to book a hotel for the night and try and go from there.

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