COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - The owner of an East Naples house that burned to the ground is telling WINK News the closest source for water wasn't used to fight the fire, and he says it cost him his home. The five alarm fire happened on Cherokee Street Sunday afternoon.
"You always have a nightmare, maybe it could happen, but my nightmare came true," Bobby Cadenhead tells WINK News of his experience watching his home burn to the ground.
Cadenhead's 10,000 square foot home, the guest house, and part of another building are gone. The charred remains barely reflect the historic items he's collected over the last 50 years while doing demolition in the county.
Twenty-four hours after the blaze is out and Cadenhead is now looking for answers. Like, why fire crews didn't pump water from the creek behind his home. Instead they strung hoses to a hydrant half a mile away and waited on water tender trucks.
Cadenhead also questions why fire crews didn't string a hose across his creek to a hydrant in a shopping complex, which would have been closer than the hydrant used.
A spokesperson for the East Naples Fire Department tells WINK News getting a fire hose across the creek isn't an option.
In order to use water from the creek it would have to be tested first, plus debris from the shallow creek would make suction difficult.
In this situation decisions had to be made quickly, and although a half a mile away, the hydrant was a sure bet for the home that was already fully engulfed.
Now, the homeowner says he's going to take his concerns to the fire commissioners. He wants to see what can be done to get another hydrant in the area. However, fire officials say it is a very difficult, costly thing to do.
Cadenhead did not have insurance on his home. He says the cost became too great for him.