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SOUTH PUNTA GORDA — A Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy helped two elderly residents out of their home Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out in the kitchen.

“The deputy got one male into his wheelchair and helped the other one out,” Charlotte County Fire and EMS spokesperson Todd Dunn said.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Claudette Smith said Deputy First Class Thomas Sganga, who was the first on the scene, found two men were needing assistance.

“One was able to get out on his own, but the other one couldn’t walk,” she said.

Smith said Sganga encountered “a ton of smoke; it was hard for him to see.”

Sganga found the man’s wheelchair, placed him in it, and wheeled him out of the home, she said.

Charlotte County Fire and EMS arrived on the scene shortly after the deputy did and fought the fire.

The cause of the fire is unknown, Dunn said. It is under investigation by the state fire marshal.

The house, at 12412 Green Gulf Boulevard in southern Charlotte County, sustained heavy smoke damage and was categorized “unlivable,” said Smith.

Dunn said the Red Cross was called and will be assisting the residents.


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