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Off-duty Cape firefighter saves home and pets at residential fire

By Staff | Nov 13, 2009

An off-duty Cape Coral firefighter’s quick response to a residential structure fire Thursday morning likely saved the lives of the five pets inside and prevented additional damage to the home.
Cape Fire received a 911 call for a residential structure fire at 927 S.W. 4th Place at 9:08 a.m. Dispatch advised fire crews that an off-duty firefighter was on scene and was assessing the situation.
Lt. Mike Camelo had been driving home from work when he noticed black smoke coming from the rear of the home. Camelo parked his vehicle and immediately performed a walk-around of the structure. He found that a small refrigerator on the back patio was on fire, and the heat was so intense that the rear sliding class door was compromised.
As the fire began to encroach on the living room couch, Camelo grabbed a nearby garden hose to extinguish the fire. He then searched of the residence, found no one inside except for the pets, and awaited the arrival of the fire units.
Camelo’s actions not only saved this homeowner from more significant damage to the home but also saved the lives of her three dogs and two cats located inside the residence, officials said.
An investigation found that the cause of the fire was accidental. A hot cigarette ember was in a small trash can next to the refrigerator on the back patio. Damage estimate was $10,000.

Source: City of Cape Coral