PALM BAY, Florida –According to Palm Bay spokesperson Yvonne Martinez, a 2003 Chrysler Voyager minivan inside a garage is being blamed for sparking a house fire that destroyed a home on Tobias Street early Friday morning.
Just after 6:30 a.m. Friday, firefighters responded to the 300 block of Tobias Street for reports of a house fire. When firefighters arrived, there was smoke and flames seen coming from the room of the single family home. The home was fully involved and firefighters began containment operations.
The residents, a young couple with three young children ages 7, 5 and 3, were all home at the time. They reported waking to smoke inside the house that appeared to be coming from the garage. When they went to investigate, they saw that their Chrysler Voyager minivan was on fire. The garage door was then opened and the fire quickly spread into the attic. The family, which rented the home and has no renters insurance, safely evacuated and is being assisted by the Palm Bay Police Department’s Victim Services Unit.
The damage to the home is estimated at approximately $75,000 with $25,000 additional damage to contents within the home and approximately $12,000 damage to the vehicle. The fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the vehicle fire.