MARATHON -- Fire destroyed four apartments on 108th Street and 1st Avenue, gulfside, Saturday. No injuries were reported.
The one-story structure was engulfed in flames when Monroe County Sheriff's deputies Danielle Malone and Greg LaRochelle arrived at 8 p.m. Three residents were home and had vacated the premises when it caught fire. One resident was not home when the fire started.
After determining the occupants were safe, the deputies evacuated adjacent buildings in case the fire spread. Marathon firefighters responded and extinguished the blaze.
The American Red Cross was notified and arrived on scene to help the residents find temporary housing.
County and state fire marshals are investigating the cause of the fire.
Bridge run details announced
MARATHON -- The 32nd Annual Seven Mile Bridge Run is set to take place on April 13.
Last year, the popular run was canceled at the last minute for the first time due to lightning strikes, strong winds and heavy rains.
The 6.8-mile race requires that the Seven Mile Bridge be closed to traffic from 6:45 to 9 a.m. Racers begin running the span at 7:30 at the east end of the bridge and have roughly 80 minutes to cross the bridge before buses pick up stragglers. Finishers are bused back to the starting line at Knight's Key.
Cost to enter is $60 per person and registration can be done only online at the www.7MBRun.com website. Registration opens at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12. Typically, the field of 1,500 runners is filled in a span of just a few minutes.
Monroe County public school students who register are allowed to run the race at no cost.
Student applications will be available at local schools during the week of Jan. 14.
The proceeds of the event benefit Middle Keys youth programs.
still seeking funds
MARATHON -- Marathon resident Bo Hall is still trying to raise $10,000 to cover costs associated with a needed kidney transplant.
Two months ago, Hall's domestic partner Alan Wendland was screened and determined to be a perfect kidney donor. But finding a donor, at least in this case, is just one of many challenges.
While Medicare will cover the transplant costs, Hall and Wendland say they need $10,000 to pay for expenses related to their operations.
Their story was featured in the Free Press before Christmas, but they say their fundraising efforts are only about 20 percent of where they need to be. Through an online effort, they have raised $2,200. Anyone interested in donating can visit www.giveforward.com/bosnewkidney.