Reported house fire on north Siesta Key proves to be no emergency after all

Siesta Towers caller apparently the victim of optical illusion

The red balloon on this aerial map marks the location of Siesta Towers. Image from Google Maps

Sometimes what appears to be a fire is not that at all, as a Siesta Key resident learned this week.

At 10:14 p.m. on May 20, Sarasota County Fire Department members received an alarm about a structure fire involving a single-family home on north Siesta Key, The Sarasota News Leader learned from the report of the incident.

The Fire Department rolled five fire suppression units, with 14 firefighters/paramedics, along with three EMS units carrying six crew members, the report notes. Three chief officer vehicles joined them.

At 10:21 p.m., the report says, the first units reached the place from which the call was received — the Siesta Towers condominium complex, located at 4822 Ocean Blvd.

When firefighters talked with the person who called in the report, he explained that he saw a nearby neighboring house on fire. Therefore, firefighters with Fire Station 13, which is on the island, and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office personnel undertook a 360-degree circuit of the structure, “with nothing found,” the report adds.

The person staying in the house identified as the site of the purported fire verified that no problem had occurred, the report points out. “[I]t seems that light was flickering in the trees from the corner in question which made a shadow simulating [what] looked like fire to the caller,” the report explains.

“All units cleared and available with no issues or needs from resident,” the report adds.

The last unit departed the scene at 10:45 p.m., the report says.

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