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Various fires, medical calls keep department — and chief — busy

By Staff | Mar 27, 2009

A brush fire in north Cape Coral, two kitchen fires and several medical calls left the Cape Coral Fire Department overburdened and in need of help from neighboring agencies Thursday afternoon.
A one-acre grass fire which threatened several homes at about 11:44 a.m. was extinguished by seven fire units, according to city spokesperson Connie Barron.
Meanwhile two morning, kitchen fires broke out, one in the 1000 block of Northwest Juanita Place at 10:07 a.m. and another in the 3800 block of Southwest Third Avenue at 12:29 p.m., though both were put out and no one was hurt, Barron said.
The fire on Southwest Third Avenue caused heavy smoke damage to the kitchen area of the house when residents left the home while cooking to go to the store, she said.
Barron said due to the fact fire units were tied up with those incidents and also with several medical calls, the department requested mutual aid from Iona McGregor Fire Department to cover Fire Station 1 in the Cape.
A request for the North Fort Myers Fire Department to help at Fire Station 5 was subsequently canceled, she said.
“The chief (Fire Chief Bill Van Helden) had to go on a medical call since all the units were tied up,” Barron said.
Van Helden responded to a call of a heart attack.