Home completely destroyed by Sunday morning blaze
Tim Moore was awakened early Sunday to the sounds of fire engines. He came out of his house at 2:30 a.m. that chilly morning to find the home across the street nearly burned to the ground.
“By the time I got up, it was totally out. But I didn’t smell any smoke. The wind pushed it south,” Moore said.
The Cape Coral Fire Department responded to call at 3702 S.W. 3rd Ave. at approximately 1:39 a.m. Sunday.
According to Battalion Chief Alan Carter, the fire caused over $50,000 in damage, and the home was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
The cause of the fire is listed as “incendiary,” according to Carter, and the investigation into the fire is still ongoing, although the State Fire Marshall’s office is assisting with the investigation.
An “Arson” sign was posted in front of the property Monday.
The owner of record for the home is Pamela D O’Brien, according to the Lee County Property Appraiser’s website.
According to city records, the home amassed more than 20 code violations over the years, many of which resulted in liens. The active cases have thousands of dollars of fees levied against the property.
Moore said the house had become an detriment to the neighborhood because it was not being kept up, and the code violations ignored.
The home was damaged in Hurricane Charley and never properly repaired, according to Moore.
Moore said neighborhood kids often used the house as it sat abandoned.
Moore just hopes the city does something to clean it up, especially since its now a burned out shell of what it once was.
“The city didn’t do anything to fix the problem (while it was standing), but maybe now they will take it down,” he said.
Mike Plazewski said he saw “70-foot flames” when the structure was fully engulfed.
Plazewski, who’s lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years, said he wasn’t nervous about the prospect of an arsonist running around, and that rumors have already begun to circulate among neighbors about who might be responsible.
“There’s a couple of ideas in the neighborhood but nothing firm,” Plazewski said.
Like Plazewski, David Orlando has lived in the neighborhood for a number of years, and said the property was never the same after Hurricane Charley.
“After Charlie it went downhill,” Orlando said. “It was an eyesore, it really was. But now the city has to come and clean it out.”