Report: Marco Town Center Dry Cleaners fire deemed accidental

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle

Marco Island Fire Rescue investigators have determined last month’s fire at the Marco Town Center Dry Cleaners was caused by an air blower that was left on accidentally.

Investigator John Harris’s report cites a “possible malfunction of the blower igniting hanging clothes and nearby items.” 

Firefighters and police officers respond to a fire at Marco Town Center on Marco Island, Fla. on March 7, 2018. Investigators determined the fire was caused by an air blower that was left on accidentally.

Fire personnel were called to 1069 Collier Blvd. on March 7 after business owner Alper Kasap dialed 911 at 6:48 p.m.

Kasap told investigators he had come back to the store at approximately 6:30 p.m. to retrieve his pool stick when he noticed heavy smoke.

The report states Kasap tried to remove a scooter from the premises, but when he was unable to, he called 911.

Firefighters were on-scene within five minutes and were assisted by crews from the Greater Naples and Naples fire departments due to the extensive nature of the fire.

All fire units were clear of the scene by 11:01 p.m.

The store, which measured approximately 850 square feet, did not have a fire alarm or fire suppression system.

Nearby businesses Sandpiper Clothiers, Beachworks and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt also sustained heavy smoke damage as a result of the fire.

The investigation report estimates the damage of the fire at $400,000.

An investigation into the March 7, 2018, fire at the Marco Town Center Dry Cleaners has determined it was caused by an air blower that was left on accidentally.

The morning after the fire, investigators found a large mound of melted yellow plastic material that adhered to the carpet as they went through the building.

As investigators were leaving the scene, Kasap said that he may have left the fan on when he left the premises the previous evening.

Kasap provided investigators with his receipt for the fan, which matched the materials investigators found.

The investigation report found that “the area that the blower was in contained a heavy fuel load of hanging clothing, plastic garment covers, and paper bags which allowed the fire to grow quickly and spread rapidly throughout the unit.”

Kasap did not respond to request for comment.

More:Fire at Marco Island shopping center causes extensive damage in stores