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Jags’ Peterson Recounts Garage Fire

October 27, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Jaguars linebacker Mike Peterson lost two classic, fully restored cars in a garage fire that caused about $500,000 in damage earlier this week.

Peterson said the fire Monday was mostly confined to his garage, but smoke spread to his two-story home in Jacksonville’s exclusive Queen’s Harbour development. He lost a 1972 Chevrolet Impala and a 1967 Lincoln Continental in the blaze.

``Both of the cars were a total loss and everything else I had in my garage was destroyed,″ Peterson said Thursday. ``I also lost a lot of personal items in the house. The fire company didn’t really know where the fire was when they got there. They came in as if the house was on fire. Take it from there.″

Peterson was reluctant to talk about the cause, but said he thought it started because of a faulty water heater.

``The insurance company is taking care of it,″ he said.

Peterson tried to extinguish the blaze himself, but backed off when he realized it was a gas fire.

``I’m trying to put it out and it’s not going out,″ he said. ``I realized it was gas and I decided to get away from it.″

About 30 firefighters arrived and put out most of the fire in about 10 minutes, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Tom Francis said.

Peterson, who bruised his ribs in practice last week and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game at St. Louis, practiced with tape on his hands but said that was normal for this point in the season.

``The hands are OK,″ he said. ``It’s midseason and I’m a banged-up linebacker. I use my hands every play. My hands will heal up sometime next March, but it had nothing to do with the fire.″

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