Officials attribute house fire in southwest to burglary, arson
A fire that destroyed a home at 708 Gleason Parkway early Thursday morning, first believed to be tied to an electrical issue, has been ruled as a burglary and arson by the State Fire Marshal.
According to city spokesperson Connie Barron, an emergency call was made at 1:31 a.m. from a neighbor who reported that flames could be seen inside the home. When fire crews arrived, flames were coming from the rear of the house and through the roof.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze at 2:05 a.m. and damage to the property is estimated at $150,000. The State Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the fire was incendiary and was set in one of the bedrooms.
No one was inside the home when firefighters arrived and no victims were found.
“Crews conducted a primary search of the unburned area of the structure with no victims found,” Barron said.
Owners Becky Young and Noe DeLeon were staying at a hotel when the fire started. When they returned to the home Thursday they noticed some of their belongings were missing and filed a report with the Cape Coral Police Department.
Thursday’s fire was the third time fire crews have responded to the residence. On June 2, 2008, there was a fire that caused $20,000 worth of damage, and Nov. 4 an accidental fire in the home’s garage caused an additional $20,000 in repairs.
“We had a fire a week and a half ago, a small one,” DeLeon said. “It was electrical.”
As a precaution, Florida Power and Light moved Young and DeLeon out of the house while the problem was fixed. Since Nov. 4 they did not know whether another fire would occur.
“We were hoping it would take a couple of weeks for them to fix the electrical problems and we could move back,” Young said.
Although the effects of the fire are not evident from the front of the structure, the interior of the house is completely burned except for charred wooden studs. The back end is ripped open and the property still exuded an aroma of smoke Thursday.
Young said the two are not sure where they are going to stay.
“We don’t have any relatives,” she said. “We live here, or we did anyway.”