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Red Cross assisting Cape family left homeless by fire

By Staff | Feb 17, 2010

Residents of a northwest Cape Coral home are receiving assistance from the local chapter of the American Red Cross after a fire Tuesday morning damaged their home.
Heidi Ruster, executive director of the American Red Cross of Lee County, said the organization assisted with food, clothing and lodging. The residents were given about five days’ worth of groceries, each received at least two outfits and they are staying at a Cape hotel for three days.
“Just what they would need to get themself going,” she said.
According to city spokeswoman Connie Barron, fire units responded to a report of smoke coming from a home at 3116 N.E. Seventh Place at 8:42 a.m. An unattended lit candle in the master bedroom, possibly burning on a night stand next to the bed, started the fire.
The residents, who were renting the home, were not inside the residence at the time of the fire, Barron said. No injuries were reported.
Fire units extinguished the flames within 18 minutes, she said. The fire caused $90,000 in damage to the home, and officials determined that the cause was accidental. The residents lost another $10,000 in contents.
According to Barron, the city building inspector and LCEC responded to the home. LCEC disconnected the electric meter and the inspector red-taggged the residence. The home is deemed uninhabitable until repairs are made.
The residents did not want to comment Wednesday, Ruster said.
The American Red Cross of Lee County also provided the residents with referrals to the Salvation Army, United Way and other related agencies.
According to Barron, this was the fourth structure fire in the Cape within the past nine days.