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Bystander prevents bigger loss in Holmes Beach house fire

An early morning fire caused over $100,000 in damages to a Holmes Beach rental home on Friday. Nobody was injured.
An early morning fire caused over $100,000 in damages to a Holmes Beach rental home on Friday. Nobody was injured. ewunderlich@bradenton.com

A family on vacation awoke early Friday morning to the sound of a stranger kicking down their door and telling them to get out.

Around 6:45 a.m., a rental home in the 4800 block of Second Avenue in Holmes Beach caught fire, said West Manatee Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Rich Jasinski.

Jasinski said the fire started outside, which is why the interior smoke alarms didn't go off. Luckily for the people sleeping inside, a person who happened to be walking by was able to wake them up and evacuate them safely.

Although no injuries were reported, the back porch suffered significant damage. Emergency recovery coordinator Victor Ramirez estimated the loss at more than $100,000.

The renters have been relocated while the structure undergoes repairs, which could take up to three months.

According to Jasinski, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Ramirez believes it was an electrical fire that started in a tiki bar.

The property is owned and managed by Select Vacation Rental Properties. Property manager Kim Charron was not immediately available for comment.

Follow Emily Wunderlich on Twitter @EmilyWunderlich.

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