Published: Oct 30, 2012 12:04 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 30, 2012 12:46 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- An early morning fire on Monday caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to a Southeast Cape Coral home. The fire was attributed to a possible electrical overload.

Around 3:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a 911 call reporting a structure fire at 925 SE 4th Place. Upon arrival, fire crews found the garage engulfed in flames and smoke throughout the home. With assistance from the police, all five occupants were evacuated from the smoke-filled structure. Fire crews were able to bring the blaze under control within 30 minutes, even with the presence of hurricane shutters, which blocked access to many of the windows.

Firefighters rescued two of the family’s five cats that were trapped in the home, and the three remaining cats later were found alive and hiding. Two dogs also were evacuated safely from the home.

A fire inspector arrived on scene and determined that the fire started around the front of the garage. An outside electrical cord lying in mulch was connected under the garage door to timers attached to a breaker box in the garage. The electrical connection appeared to be powering outdoor Halloween decorations.

The Red Cross and LCEC responded to the residence to assist.

The hurricane shutters on the home were a source of serious concern for the City’s Fire Department.

“We encourage our residents to remove hurricane shutters unless there is an imminent storm threat to our city,” said Fire Chief Bill Van Helden. “Covering windows with hurricane panels not only prevents firefighters from being able to effectively attack a residential fire, it also blocks points of escape for the occupants of the home.”