Fire damages majority of home in N. Fort Myers


By GRANT BOXLEITNER , gboxleitner@news-press.com
Published by news-press.com on September 28, 2003


Jason Ready returned from Wal-Mart to the sight and smell of smoke in his Suncoast Estates neighborhood Saturday night.

When he realized it was his mother’s home — where he lives — on fire, he tried desperately to get inside.

“I took a footstep in, and that was it,” Ready said. “I almost passed out from the smoke.”

Fire gutted much of the home at 7648 McDaniel Drive in North Fort Myers, sending flames shooting more than 40 feet in the air as firefighters struggled to get to the room where the fire was burning hardest.

“As far as we can determine, it started somewhere in the east end of the home,” North Fort Myers Fire Department Capt. Evan Potter said. “We had a hard time getting to it. We had to cut a wall down.”

Potter said it appeared a structure had been built around a mobile home, making it “like a maze” for firefighters trying to contain the blaze.

There was no one inside when the fire started, although two dogs — Cocoa and Baby — were on the property, according to Ready’s sister, Leta Ready, who lives nearby.

The fate of the dogs was undetermined late Saturday night, Potter said. The Ready siblings said their mother, Jenny Ready, who owns the home, was visiting family in Indiana.

Neighbor Lori Danforth called 911 at about 8:23 p.m. after she saw what she first believed was fog. Then she went outside and saw smoke coming from the home next door. The cause and damage estimates were not immediately determined.