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Fire kills 1 in Cape Coral, pets missing

Posted at 11:23 AM, Dec 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 20:16:55-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- State fire officials responded to a house fire in Cape Coral late Tuesday morning, where one man was found dead.

According to Cape Coral Fire Officials, the flame started around 10 A.M. at 3623 Gator Circle West, following two explosions. The home is located directly behind Cape Coral Fire Station 10. Firefighters responded quickly after hearing the explosions. Officials confirmed a male victim inside the home was found deceased. 

Neighbors identified the victim as 65-year-old Jim Fritz. He was an army veteran who lived in Cape Coral for more than 2 decades. His caregiver told 4 In Your Corner he was a good person and had a very close bond with his dog, Polly.

Fritz was well known to the firefighters at Station 10. As he was in poor health and on oxygen, they often helped him around his home as needed. Battalion Chief Parker said, “Loss of life is never easy. However, this hits particularly close to home as we lost a neighbor, someone who was well known to us.”

Neighbors reported that there were a dog and a cat who also lived in the home. No signs of either have been found at this time. The State Fire Marshal responded and the cause of death and the cause of the fire are still under investigation.