A multi-million dollar mansion in Naples was seriously damaged in a fire Tuesday evening, according to the Naples Fire Department. The blaze started in the garage of the home at 205 North Lake Drive, while fire crews fought to keep it from spreading to the main house.
"I saw the huge, black smoke as I was riding my bike back from the store," said David Burden, who lives next door to the mansion.
Burden said at first, he thought it was his own house that was burning.
"The fire trucks came like, a minute later," he said. "They were at it for hours."
"There was a lot of fire," said Gerald Pecar, battalion chief for the Naples Fire Department. "On arrival, the building was completely involved."
Pecar said his crews managed to contain the blaze to the garage, where six expensive cars were destroyed, including a Jaguar and a Mercedes.
On the second floor over the garage, the art studio of one of the residents also took heavy damage.
"Her stuff is beautiful," Burden said of his neighbor's artwork. "I hope it wasn't destroyed, but it doesn't look good over there."
Pecar said the fire marshal believes that the exhaust of one of the expensive cars that was destroyed got too close to some combustible material in the garage, accidentally starting the fire.
But he said more important than finding the cause is the fact that all four people at the home got out safely.
"Nobody was hurt, that's our main goal," Pecar said. "Life safety before anything."
Pecar said while the house did not burn, it still has a lot of smoke damage. He said the power to the home has been out while the family who lives there sorts through their belongings to se what they can salvage.