homepage logo

Two homes total loss in Upper Captiva fire

By Staff | Aug 23, 2017

Two homes are a total loss after a fire broke out on Upper Captiva Island Friday, Aug. 11.

Upper Captiva Fire & Rescue District Chief Bob Kinniry said the 911 call came in around 11:30 p.m. Friday from neighbors who had noticed the fire at 4321 Sol Vista Drive.

“They were awake and noticed it at that hour. It was already fully involved. The family got out and came to the fire station with all of their goods. Another islander put them up for the night,” he said.

Kinniry said they set up operations and did what they could until help came from the Marine Emergency Response Team. He said the heat of the original fire spread to the north, 4341 Sol Vista Drive, the family’s home of who called 911.

EMS, and firefighters from the Captiva Island Fire District also provided assistance.

Firefighter and Paramedic Nick Miller, with the Captiva Island Fire District, said they played a small role in putting out the fire.

“We were there 30 minutes after we received the call. We were transported by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office boat. They were a huge help. They helped out on scene and helped with evacuations,” Miller said.

He said they had water supply issues at first because their portable pump was malfunctioning.

“As other crews arrived on scene, they were able to do other tasks. We tried to get a head start on saving the third structure, which we did,” Miller said.

Kinniry said the fire was under control at 3 a.m.

According to the Lee County Property Appraiser, Albert and Cheryl Trapanese of Pompano Beach own the 4321 Sol Vista Drive home, worth $1.7 million. The home, built in 1994, has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms for a total of 3,274 square feet of living area.

Kinniry said they have a fire department on Upper Captiva with four firefighters, who responded with their engine and did the best they could to contain it until help arrived. He said MERTS arrived, a boat from Cape Coral, that had pumps on the vessel helping with water supply.

The biggest obstacle for fighting fires on the island is manpower and water.

“We have the manpower to make the initial attack and try to contain it,” Kinniry said. “You have to draft the water. You can’t roll up to the fire hydrant. Thank God we have support coming. They showed up, took over and were able to control and contain it.”

The last structure fire on the island was in 2014.

“It’s relatively rare,” Kinniry said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No one was injured.