By Steve “Stef” Stefanides
Personnel from the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department were dispatched to 1069 North Collier Boulevard at 6:48pm on Wednesday evening for an alarm of fire. Upon arrival they reported heavy smoke coming from a section of buildings within the Marco Town Center Mall (MTCM), which houses several retail stores, restaurants and a dry cleaners.
Heavy smoke was coming from the overhead eaves, roof, and out from the storefront of the Marco Town Center Dry Cleaners. The dry cleaners is located next to Beachworks, a clothing and gift store.
Fire crews entered the dry cleaners and made an initial attack on the fire, quickly knocking down the heavy fire and ventilating the store to prevent an extension of the flames into other areas. Crews were required to also knock down fire in the limited attic space above the stores prior to placing the incident under control.
Marco Island police and fire personnel evacuated patrons of the other commercial entities in that area of the complex to insure their safety.
Although the fire was contained to the area of the Town Center Dry Cleaners, other stores within the complex sustained moderate smoke and some water damage. No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze.
Battalion Chief Chris Crossan, who was in command of the initial attack, gave credit to his crew’s prompt response to the fire.
“Our personnel helped to avert what could have been a major involvement of the remainder of the complex. Their swift action and the coordinated effort of all the personnel here did a great job,” said Crossan.
Personnel and apparatus from the Greater Naples Fire Rescue Department and members of Collier County EMS joined with Marco personnel in battling the blaze, which was quickly put under control.
Fire Chief Mike Murphy, who was on the scene of the incident, praised his personnel and the relationship with the neighboring Greater Naples Fire and Collier County EMS for their cooperative effort.
“We plan together for just this type of occurrence to insure we all work in a seamless manner to insure we minimize property damage and avoid the loss of lives and injuries to our personnel. It was a great team effort,” said Murphy.