ST. PETERSBURG — A car battery charger may have sparked the Monday morning fire that heavily damaged a $400,000 waterfront home in Yacht Club Estates, according to firefighters.
Despite heavy rains at the time, several neighbors reported seeing smoke and flames at the home at 1237 79th St. S at 8:19 a.m., according to St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata.
Firefighters searched the inside but no one was home. Foam and water were used to extinguish the blaze, which was out in 30 minutes.
Investigators believe the fire started in the garage and spread to the rest of the 1,492 square foot home. Inside the garage was a 2000 Audi A 4 that was left on a battery charge by the home's caretaker. Investigators believe that may have been the source of the fire.
The home had a caretaker because the owners no longer live there. The husband died a few years ago, according to Fire Rescue, and his wife is now in a nursing home.
The home suffered an estimated $60,000 in damage. The Audi, which was in pristine condition with just 13,500 miles, was destroyed in the fire. The home had no working smoke detectors, Granata said.
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