Cape Coral issues temporary burn ban; Fire department advises to turn off breakers

Published: October 7, 2022 9:18 AM EDT
Updated: October 7, 2022 4:42 PM EDT

Cape Coral has issued a temporary burn ban to limit fire hazards within the city, effective on Thursday.

The measure prohibits recreational and city-permitted burns and includes burning vegetative debris left behind by Hurricane Ian. Fires solely for cooking purposes where the fire, flames and heat generated are contained within the device being used are permitted.

The burn ban will remain in effect until the conditions of recovery from Hurricane Ian improve.

“With the large amount of horticulture debris and the current strain on emergency services crews, we are issuing a burn ban for the City of Cape Coral in an effort to protect our residents prevent a fire from getting out of control,” says Fire Chief Ryan Lamb.

The Cape Coral Fire Department also posted a warning to homeowners to turn off the main breaker to your home before power is restored.

On Thursday, the fire department said they responded to five residential fired within 24 hours.

“All of the five occurred when the power was turned back on,” the fire department said. “Please be sure to turn off the main breaker to your house to avoid a potential surge from occurring while you are not home when power is restored. After power has been restored to your home, turn on the main breaker and then slowly turn on all other breakers.”

  • In the 4500 block of SE 9th Avenue, a faulty outlet in a bedroom shorted and caught fire to the mattress after a resident turned on their breakers. But because the resident controlled their breakers, they were able to call 911 and have the fire put out before it spread to the rest of the house. Two cats were taken from the home and given oxygen.
  • In the 2100 block of SW 25 Street, wiring in the attic space about the bedroom shorted once the power was restored. Residents were home and were notified by neighbors that smoke was coming from the roof. Everyone was able to get out safely.
  • In the 700 block of SW 5 Terrace, a stovetop burner was on when the power went out and when power returned, it was still on. No one was home at the time of the fire, but four dogs had to be rescued by firefighters. The Red Cross was called to assist the two adults and three children who live in the home with temporary housing.
  • In the 300 block of SE 26th Terrace, a wire in the eves of the garage door shorted and started a fire after the power was restored. No one was home, but firefighters had a hard time getting into the house because it still had its hurricane shutters on.
  • In the 200 block of NE 23rd Avenue, a single-serve coffee maker malfunctioned after power was restored. It started a fire in the kitchen. It’s unclear if the coffeemaker malfunctioned because of a power surge or if it was a faulty appliance. The four adults and two children in the home got out safety, along with a dog, two cats and a bird.