A fire destroyed a 1950s home in the 700 block of Lands End Drive that belonged to Joan Bergstrom, sister of real-estate magnate Michael Saunders.
According to Longboat Key Fire Rescue Deputy Chief David Kyle, the department got its first calls about the fire around 9:56 a.m.
Kyle said he could see a thick cloud of smoke as he left the North Fire Station, which is nearly 3 miles away from the home.
Bergstrom, along with her daughter and grandson were inside the home but escaped without injury before firefighters were arrived.
“We had it under control and pretty much out in 25 minutes,” Kyle said.
The state is investigating the cause of the fire.
More than 20 firefighters from Longboat Key, Sarasota County and West Manatee departments responded.
Demolition of the home was underway Thursday afternoon, according to Kyle.
For more information, pick up a March 28 copy of the Longboat Observer.
Contact Robin Hartill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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