Sheriff's Office investigating East Naples duplex fire

— East Naples Fire Rescue District responded to a fully-engulfed duplex fire Thursday at 11:30 p.m.

Neighbors said they are still trying to learn the fate of a woman who lived in one of the apartments at 3197 Gordon Street.

"I'm trying to find out if they got her out," neighbor Ruth Smith said of the woman who lived in the home.

"There was flames shooting way up," Smith said of the fire, which was quickly brought under control.

"It was just like, poof, on fire," Smith said, raising her arms slightly.

Another neighbor, Miguel Rivera, said he was eating with his family when his brother-in-law alerted him to the fire. He rushed outside, ran to the front of the duplex and found a man trying to get in.

"He was trying to get in because his wife was inside," Rivera said, adding that he was also concerned about the woman's fate.

Rivera said he ran back to his house to get an axe when law enforcement arrived and cleared the scene for the arriving fire crews.

The owner of the duplex suffered smoke inhalation and two cats died, according to fire district spokesman Greg Speers, who could not confirm the fate of the woman. Two other cats and several birds were rescued, Speers said.

"It was too hot to even get close to," Speers said of the fire when crews arrived.

Above one apartment in the duplex, the fire had broke through the roof and severe damage inside could be seen from the street.

The state fire marshal and Collier County Sheriff's Office will be investigating the fire, Speers said.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kristi Lester said investigators were on the scene but she had no further details early Friday morning.

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