West Bradenton home destroyed by fire

Firefighters work to contain a fire at a home in the 800 block of 65th Street NW in Bradenton...
Firefighters work to contain a fire at a home in the 800 block of 65th Street NW in Bradenton Sept. 8(WWSB-TV)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 11:34 AM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - A home in Northwest Bradenton was destroyed by fire Thursday morning.

Flames were seen shooting from the roof of the home, in the 800 block of 65th Street NW, shortly before 10 a.m.

Two workers and the homeowner were in the home at the time of the fire, ABC7 has learned. According to Fire Marshal Rodney Kwiatkowski, a welder working on a refrigeration unit was injured and was taken to Blake Medical Center. No one else was injured

According to West Manatee Fire Marshal Rodney Kwiatkowski, when fire crews first arrived they took an offensive approach attacking the fire. However, after a few minutes they started to hear popping noises. Those pops turned out to be ammunition exploding in the fire. The firefighters then moved a defensive approach and protected the exposures.

Manatee County Code Enforcement Officer Nick Riffe was the first on the scene. Once he realized what the sound was he forced all bystanders away from the scene.

“My initial thought was to get these individuals away from the fire and get them in a safe location,” said Riffe. “It was very loud. You think of a fireplace. You hear the popping and cracking. There’s debris that’s falling. It’s a very loud situation.”

Eyewitness Wayne Geisler explained the heat of the fire was intense.

“If you’ve been by a campfire before, you could sit three feet from it and feel it. You could just feel the radiant heat. I’m just glad it got contained. It was just a sight to see,” said Geisler.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. ABC’s Bob Herrigan was live at the scene: