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Officials confirm one person killed in Cape Coral house fire

SE 3rd Street house fire
Posted at 5:53 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 18:37:34-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Investigators are combing through the rubble of an early morning house fire that killed one person.

Cape Coral Fire officials were called to a home on the corner of SE 3rd Street and SE 4th Place just after midnight Tuesday.

Neighbors and witnesses reported hearing explosions within the home, along with towering flames and thick smoke. Several people tried to enter the home, which reportedly belongs to a veteran in his 70s.

A neighbor Steve Butler, “Josh he was over on the other street we try to do the front door, we try to do the garage everything you get near it and the heat was too hot to get in the house so we yelled we were screaming. Everything was too hot to grab, and stuff was blowing up inside."
Steve Butler said they knew a man was inside... “We did because his truck was in the yard and he doesn’t hardly go anywhere after dark so we kind of figured he was inside."

Another neighbor tells us how he saw a lot of smoke and knew something happened. Freddy Rezo, “I heard some crackling and I see these flames and after that I heard the firetrucks and ambulance.”

Fire Chief Ryan Lamb says the roof had already partially collapsed when crews arrived.

"Based off the intensity, we began an exterior fire attack," said Lamb. Lamb said firefighters also tried a maneuver where they broke a window of a room furthest from the flames in an attempt to search for occupants. When crews arrive to the scene there was fire through the roof, parts of that roof had actually collapsed into the structure which made it very difficult for a fire attack and one of the other concerns we had was the fire spreading to adjacent buildings that was one of our primary concerns.”

Investigators on scene throughout the day trying to piece together what exactly happened….And in terms of the cause of the fire…

Chief Lamb, “It’ll probably take quite a bit of time based on the intensity of the fire and how much was involved and the amount of fire load, the amount of material that was at this house was a little bit increased than a typical fire.”

It’s now left neighbors wondering what happened?…

Butler, “He was out yesterday out and about…What I know is his name is John, he’s a 78-year-old Vietnam vet, cleaned up the backyard because it used to be really bad and in the last few weeks he cleaned it up quite a bit. It was about a month ago, couple weeks ago my wife and I walk this every night we go for a walk around the neighborhood and he was out and he was standing in the doorway we approached him and said hi but the inside of the house was cluttered like a hoarder so there was a lot of stuff in the house. Well, yeah it’s unfortunate um yeah not good.”

Rezo, “It’s unfortunate situation you don’t see that that often out here but you know anything can happen anywhere I guess.”

Officials have not confirmed the identity of the person killed in the fire.
Right now the state fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire and cape coral police are investigating the cause of death.