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Man injured in home fire upgraded to good condition

By Staff | Jul 15, 2010

A Cape Coral man’s condition improved Thursday at a local hospital after he was seriously injured in a fire that broke out in the garage of his home.
Ralph Rampersad, 65, of 220 N.W. 10th Terrace, was listed as good at Lee Memorial Hospital after he sustained burns and suffered smoke inhalation during the fire Tuesday afternoon. He was the only person injured, officials reported.
At 1:05 p.m., fire crews arrived at the home and found that the fire had engulfed the garage, living room and attic. They tried an interior attack but were forced to move to a defensive mode because of the fire in the attic.
Officials said the flames were extinguished at about 1:45 p.m.
Battalion Chief Alan Carter of the Cape Coral Fire Department reported that the total loss to the family is $260,000. The damage to the home is estimated at $200,000. The damage to the contents of the home is about $20,000, and the damage to a vehicle parked in the driveway is $10,000.
According to an incident report, Rampersad told EMS that he was barbecuing in the garage when the fire started. He was then transported to the hospital.
The fire remains under investigation.
City officials have responded to questions of whether there were enough firefighters available to safely fight the blaze. According to a memo from Division Chief of Operations Tom Tomich to City Manager Carl Schwing, the initial response was adequately staffed.
However, firefighters did face some challenges — most notably a lack hydrants in the area — and staffing levels did impact firefighters’ ability to “rotate” in and out of firefighting mode for their own health and safety, Tomich explained in the memo.