Poinciana residents push for closer fire station after insurance hikes



POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Residents in Poinciana are speaking out after dealing with continuously increasing insurance rates because of what many are calling a public safety hazard.

Poinciana has no fire station within five miles of the community and the inadequate fire protection is translating to a spike in insurance. Residents are hoping to find out how the Polk County commissioners plan to help their situation at a meeting on Monday.

"My premium was $1,100. I got my renewal and my renewal now says premium is $2,200," Poinciana homeowner John Perez said.

The nearest fire station to Perez's home is nearly seven miles away. He said the distance is driving up rates and scaring away insurance companies.

"By the time one of those fire trucks gets here to a structure fire, the home would be burnt to the ground," Perez said.

There are more than 3,600 homes and two schools in the Poinciana community that Perez said are at risk. He's reached out to Polk County commissioners, the fire chief and State Rep. Mike La Rosa in hopes they can find a way to get a new fire station.

Perez, who is vice president of his neighborhood's homeowners association, has been told that a plan is in the works. County Commission Chairman Todd Dantzler is expected to attend Monday's public meeting.

"Something has to be done, and I hope that it is and that Commissioner Dantzler has some good news for us tomorrow," Perez said.

The public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Poinciana library.