Manatee deputy sees smoke, alerts homeowner to fire

- A Manatee County deputy noticed smoke in the air off Business 41 Friday. 

When he found the source, he alerted William Manning who was fast asleep. A shed behind his home was on fire.

“When I got up the entire storage structure was in flames. It was an inferno,” Manning said.

The shed along with a couple of trailers and a truck were destroyed. The fire was also quickly spreading.

”Our biggest factor was that the structure in the year caught a brush fire in the back towards the fence line towards the trailer park,” said North River Fire District Battalion Chief Cole Miller.

Fortunately, by Friday evening firefighters had it out and were mopping the last of the hotspots. Manning and his neighbors’ homes were saved.

“Your life changes on a dime, you know?” Manning said.

Seven people live in Manning’s house along with six dogs and three cats. They’re all fine. Three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.

“The guys just got overheated,” said Miller.

Officials say the fire does not appear suspicious, though the cause is still unknown. 

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