Firefighters: July 4 cookout to blame for Palm Bay house fire

PALM BAY, Fla. — Flames from a grill set a Palm Bay home on fire Wednesday afternoon, Palm Bay Fire Rescue said.

Firefighters said they were called to a home on Yukon Street Northeast near Malabar Road Northeast and Emerson Drive Northeast.

Homeowner Keone Kaaihue told Channel 9 that he was letting the grill heat up when he walked away for a moment to prepare some food.

Shortly thereafter, he said he saw the home's soffit on fire, which spread to the attic and roof.

"I was able to run around the outside of the house, (and I) picked up my garden hose in an attempt to do what I can while I'm dialing 911," Kaaihue said.

A firefighter was taken to a hospital to be treated for a leg injury that wasn't serious, officials said.

Firefighters said the fire caused part of the home's roof to cave in. One-quarter of the home was damaged.

Kaaihue said his friends will allow him to couch surf until the home is repaired.

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