Brevard County Fire Rescue crews responded to a reported structure fire at the 4000 block of Greenhill Street in Port St. John Saturday evening. The fire was reported by a resident of the home at 6:50 p.m.
Fire crews arrived on scene at 6:56 p.m. and found heavy black smoke coming from the rear of the home. All occupants were safely out of the home on arrival of the first unit but reported that three cats were still inside the home.
As flames broke through the roof of structure, fire crews pushed in and began an aggressive interior attack on the fire. Two of the cats were quickly located and removed safely from the home.
As the fire continued to grow, a second alarm was struck by the Incident Commander in order to bring additional resources and manpower to the scene. Firefighters were sent to the roof of the home to ventilate the structure of heat and smoke, making interior conditions easier to work in and the fire easier to locate.
Knockdown on the fire was achieved at 7:25 p.m. with overhaul operations initiated to locate any hidden fire.
During overhaul operations, the third cat was located inside the home and removed to safety. The home’s four occupants were displaced as a result of the fire and the American Red Cross was contacted to provide any assistance to the family that may be needed.
Officials say the residents reported that the fire was caused by a cooking fire on a propane grill located near the structure. No damage estimate was immediately available.
Brevard County firefighters were aided in their efforts by fire crews from Cocoa Fire Department and Titusville Fire & Emergency Services (a total of 38 fire personnel).
Brevard County Fire Rescue recommends that gas grills should be used only outdoors and placed well away from the home and out from under eaves when in use. Regular maintenance to remove built up grease from the cooking surfaces and traps is encouraged.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), gas grills were involved in an annual average of 6,200 home fires in 2004-2008, while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,300 home fires.