Published: Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 5, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.
SARASOTA – Firefighters have declared a home within the Meadows neighborhood a total loss after a blaze spread from the home’s outdoor grill to its main structure late Thursday night.
Witnesses said at least 17 firefighter units were called to the home, located on the 5300 block of Everwood Run within the Meadows community, just west of the Nathan Benderson Rowing Park near University Parkway, at about 10 p.m. Thursday night.
No residents, firefighters or animals were injured in the conflagration, according to authorities. Early estimates put the total dollar loss at about $600,000.
Captain Jerry Jensen, a public information officer with the Sarasota County Fire Department, said the fire started in a custom-built grill and fire-pit area built into the home’s outdoor lanai.
He said when firefighters arrived, the fire was too powerful for emergency workers to try to fight the blaze from inside the home. Instead, firefighters lobbed water into the fire from a distance, a strategy known as a “defensive mode,” Jensen said.
The state fire marshal has been called and will investigate the fire.
Jensen said there are steps recreational grillers can take to keep their homes safe.
He said to never light a grill inside of a building and to keep it away from decking, vinyl wall siding or anything else that could catch on fire.
He added to keep a 3-foot perimeter around the grill and to clean it after each use so old grease will not catch fire the next time the grill is used.
Do not put hot charcoal in a garbage can — especially a plastic garbage can — and open gas grills before each use to allow any potential trapped gas to escape, he added.
“Use common sense,” Jensen said. “That’s usually the best thing.”
EARLIER: At least 17 Sarasota County Fire Department units were called to The Meadows about 10 p.m. Thursday night to extinguish a blaze in a home in the 5300 block of Everwood Run.
Sarasota County fire officials say two people were forced to evacuate the home after a fire apparently started in a grill on the home’s lanai. No one was injured.
Neighbors told SNN Local News 6 that the fire spread from the grill to a chimney in the home and then into the attic. The fire was fully involved when Sarasota County firefighters arrived and more units were called in to contain the blaze. The State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire.