Early morning blaze damages North Port home


NORTH PORT -- A child playing with a lighter reportedly caused a morning blaze that ripped through a North Port home, according to the North Port Fire Rescue District.

No one was injured, but the home's interior sustained major damage.

Investigators determined the fire at 6775 Dennison Ave. was unintentional, said Deputy Chief Howard Bearse. The official cause was "misuse of an open flame," he said.

Authorities received a call at 7:06 a.m. after the son of the woman renting the home, Lisa Blake, discovered the fire and ran to a neighbor's house. He was getting ready for school and was the only family member home at the time of the fire. Blake received a call at work alerting her of the fire.

Firefighters arrived on the scene at 7:11 a.m. and had the fire under control by 7:23 a.m. Three North Port engines, a ladder truck and Sarasota County engine rescue No. 26 were dispatched.

The owner of the home, Ron Hallam, was not at the scene.

Also on the scene was North Port Commissioner Rue Berryman offering help to Blake and her family from the Salvation Army of South Venice. The family declined Red Cross assistance. Berryman said Blake, her two sons and the family's pet cat will all have a place to stay.

Investigators determined the fire originated in the back bedroom of the house, but the cause is under investigation by the North Port Fire Department and State Fire Marshal Randy St. Clair.


By DANIELLE WISHKA

Staff Writer