Longboat Key Fire Rescue responded to a report of a house fire at 6430 Gulfside Road 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.
The home, which was rented by a couple and their three-year-old daughter, was engulfed in black smoke upon arrival. Fire Rescue teams had to vent the roof to help put out the fire. No injuries were reported. The inside of the home was engulfed in flames and is no longer habitable, according to Building Official Wayne Thorne. Damage estimates and the cause of the fire, which is believed to have started in the kitchen, are unknown at this time.
Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi said the family of three was not at the home at the time of the fire, although the family's dog, an Australian Rottweiler, passed away inside. Dezzi said it was Longboat Key's first fire since a Westchester Condominiums fire in July 2011.
The fire was under control in 20 minutes. Both Longboat Key Fire Rescue stations responded to the call, as well as two West Manatee Fire District crews and one Sarasota County Fire Department crew. Traffic is still backed up in both directions on Gulf of Mexico Drive as crews work to clean up and assess the structure.
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