Dozens of firefighters team up to battle blaze near homes - WFLA News Channel 8

Dozens of firefighters team up to battle blaze near homes in Charlotte County

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Image courtesy NBC 2 Image courtesy NBC 2
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

More than one dozen different fire departments sent crews to help battle a brush fire as flames got dangerously close to homes.

Residents in Rotunda West called 911 Wednesday around 3 p.m. when they saw flames near their houses. More than 20 Charlotte County deputies went door to door evacuating families from five streets.

"People were very receptive to evacuating because they had 30-foot flames behind their houses," said Charlotte County Spokeswoman Dee Hawkins-Garland.

Resident Yong Rugenstein said she tried to stomp out some small flames near her sidewalk before a deputy told her she had to go.

"He said get out of here, hurry up. I said, oh my gosh, I'm scared. I don't know what to do," explained Rugenstein.

Dozens of firefighters from Naples to Sarasota battled the blaze from the ground. An air crew also used a helicopter to dump buckets of water from the sky.

"It's a relatively, newly developed area, lot of new houses, but they are sporadically spaced in areas with heavy brush areas, thus the challenge," said Hawkins-Garland.

Wednesday's weather didn't help either.

"We had anywhere from 10 to 30 mile an hour wind gusts, that creates a huge challenge with the dry (weather). It's cold. It spreads quick," said Hawkins-Garland.

About 60 acres of brush burned around homes in Rotuna West before residents were allowed to return.

Hawkins-Garland said another major brush fire burned Wednesday in a rural part of south Charlotte County. She said that fire consumed 500-acres and three structures. No one was injured in either fire.

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