Brush fire breaks out in Charlotte County Friday

Colleen Hogan

Brush fire breaks out in Charlotte County Friday

CREATED Mar. 30, 2012

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - More brush fires in Southwest Florida.

 
They've been keeping firefighters on the move and homeowners on edge all week. Fire officials are warning you to be on alert. 
 
More than six fires breaking out in Southwest Florida over the past week. One of the first, broke out last weekend in Cape Coral. It burned 18 acres and damaged at least one home.
 
Another brush fire created heavy smoke near Racoa Avenue and Clearview Drive in Port Charlotte. The fire threatened several homes before crews were able to get it under control.
 
Four In Your Corner's Colleen Hogan is talking to some nervous neighbors.
 
White smoke fills the air in Penny Shaer's Port Charlotte neighborhood.
 
"It's a little shocking to come home to this," Shaer said.
 
Even more shocking, the phone call Shaer got at work, saying she needed to come home quickly.
 
"My neighbor called me and left me a message," she said. "I was at work, and (she) told me there was a little excitement over here. I didn't know what she was talking about."
 
Shaer soon found out.
 
"This fire was reported to be close to houses," Charlotte Coutny EMS spokesperson Dee hawkins. "Indeed when firefighters arrived on scene, the fire was very close to many of the houses."
 
"I thought it was just a little something but when he told me it was the whole block I raced home," Shaer said. "I've got four dogs in the house."
 
The fire burned about an acre, tearing through empty lots.
 
"There was a lot of trees, a lot of brush in the area," Hawkins said.
 
Luckily, the blaze stopped right before Shaer's fence, sparing her house.
 
"I don't know who called, but thank you for calling," Shaer said. "They saved both of the houses and the firemen got here and did their job, so thank God for that."
 
Fire officials are still trying to figure out what started the blaze. No homes or people were hurt. 
 
A forestry spokesperson says the best thing you can do this tie of year, is keep your lawn watered as much as local watering guidelines will allow, and remove all the dead brush at least 30 feet from your house. 
 
Colleen Hogan, reporter
chogan@fox4now.com

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