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Firefighters respond to house fire in Cape; Neighbor saw, reported

By Staff | Jun 3, 2008

Firefighters extinguished a house fire at a Cape Coral home Monday afternoon after neighbors called 911.

Yoel Perez came home at about 3:57 p.m. to smoke pouring out of his neighbor’s house at 708 Gleason Parkway. Perez said he called his neighbor, Becky Young, who was working on Sanibel at the time the incident occurred, then he called the fire department.

Young’s roommate, Noe DeLeon, was also at work when the fire occurred, family members said. No one else resides in the home.

“As I pulled up I saw smoke coming out of the soffit,” said Perez. “I rang the doorbell, and when no one answered I went to the side door … I pulled it open and smoke poured out.”

Perez said he has lived next to Young for about three years with his wife and 1-year-old child.

“We’re as close as neighbors can get,” Perez said.

Firefighters were quick to respond and had extinguished the fire by the time Young arrived from Sanibel. The fire was out by about 4:15, said city spokesperson Connie Barron.

The family said firefighters told them that the fire likely started from a power-saving device on a water heater in the garage area, though officials could not be reached for confirmation Monday night.

“Thank God it wasn’t the whole house,” said Young. “I was on Sanibel, so it took me a long time to get here.”

“They got it out pretty quick,” said Young’s future daughter-in-law, Kim Scoini.

Scoini was on scene with her fiance and Young’s son, Nathan, and Nathan’s sister, Christina. The three waited in Perez’s driveway for Young to arrive.

“They won’t even let us go by the house,” Scoini said.

“No one ever wants this to happen to them,” she added. “You see this many fire trucks, you know something big must have happened.”

After officials assessed the damage, they said the house would be livable in about three to four days. According to Scoini, some boxes in the garage where the water heater was located were left unmelted despite the heavy smoke from within.

“It could’ve been worse,” she said.

Officials could not provide further details regarding the fire Monday evening.