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Summerland Key house burns Tuesday

Firefighter Mario Caballero investigates the inside of a stilt house that caught fire early Tuesday morning.
Firefighter Mario Caballero investigates the inside of a stilt house that caught fire early Tuesday morning.

Fire broke out at an empty stilt home on Summerland Key early Tuesday but no one was injured.

The fire was discovered at 2:45 a.m. at 24050 Overseas Highway by Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Evan Calhoun, who was driving north on Summerland. At first he thought he was driving through fog but it turned out to be smoke, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin.

“He quickly discovered it was smoke from the odor and began looking for a fire,” Herrin said.

Calhoun could see the smoke in the driveway of a gated property with two structures at 24050 Overseas Highway. He could see flames coming from beneath one of the stilt homes.

Firefighters from Big Pine Key, Sugarloaf Key and Cudjoe Key extinguished the fire, containing it to the single house.

“The interior had a lot of fire and smoke damage but the exterior, you could hardly tell it was a fire,” county Fire Chief Jim Callahan said, adding the home was not a total loss.

County Deputy Fire Marshal Craig Marston and State Fire Marshal Wally Romero were on the scene to investigate the cause of the blaze, which hadn’t been determined as of press time Tuesday. But it appears electrical in nature and didn’t start in the kitchen, but likely a closet or bookcase, authorities said.

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