3 Fla. firefighters injured, 1 rescued battling 4-alarm house fire
One Sarasota County firefighter fell through the roof of a two-story wood home while venting an area believed to be safe
By Carlos R. Munoz
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Three firefighters were injured and another was rescued Saturday evening after making a mayday call during a four-alarm fire that broke out at a spacious two-story wood home in eastern Sarasota County.
At 6:52 p.m., the Sarasota County Fire Department was called to a residential fire at 3946 Country View Dr. in the Country Place subdivision less than a mile north of Clark Road.
"We're not going to lose this house!" a firefighter communicated over the radio.
But the fire was unrelenting. Three of the 85 firefighters who responded from firehouses around Sarasota and southern Manatee counties were transported to the hospital with heat-related injuries. One fell through the roof.
That firefighter was venting an area believed to be safe. However, flames in an attic space below him led to a collapse.
None of the residents, who were home at the time the fire began, were injured, Sarasota County Fire Chief Michael Regnier said.
"We did have a mayday call from one of our firefighters that were on the roof when flames came through that roof area," Regnier said. "He did go through that roof somewhat, but we were able to rescue him quickly and take care of that firefighter. He was not injured."
The Sarasota County Property Appraiser lists the house at 6,871 square feet of living space. Multiple additions over the years created a number of different roof lines that made battling the fire challenging.
"There was a lot of fire involvement upon our arrival," Regnier said. "We were in the process of taking care of one area and that fire traveled to another area. We were in a defensive posture trying to pinch down the fire to one area of the structure. We were able to successfully do that after a number of hours and a lot of personnel and a lot of effort."
The fire was close to becoming a five-alarm blaze, but Regnier said they chose to call in special resources rather than upgrade the call. Units from Manatee County, North Port, Venice and Nokomis responded to assist at the scene and cover the city coverage during the Country View Drive operation.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office assisted with public safety at the scene.
The fire was under control by about 10:30 p.m.
"We were able to successfully take care of the incident tonight and the rest of the county," Regnier said. "Firefighters did monumental work. They did a great job. They were able to save a majority of the structure."
Neighbors who were at the house when the fire began said they were watching the University of Central Florida college football game and grilling chicken when a propane tank burst. They called 911.
The State Fire Marshal has been called to investigate the cause of the fire.
©2019 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.