2 dogs killed, third rescued in house fire
Two dogs were killed in a fire at 25225 Bunting Circle on Monday afternoon. The owners of the 3,274-square-foot home were not at the residence when the fire erupted, according to Pasco Fire Rescue Chief Duncan Hitchcock. A third dog was rescued from the blaze and is expected to survive. Hitchcock said the fire started in the garage, after a resident was welding to make a trailer for his boat. "Some of the hot shards from the welding got into something combustible and started the fire," Hitchcock said. He said the man didn't notice anything amiss and left the house. Fire Rescue got the call at 3:48 p.m. and by the time they got there at 3:55 p.m., flames were shooting through the roof. The house, which is in the Oaks subdivision, is a "total loss," Hitchcock said. Neither fire officials nor the Red Cross released the homeowners' identities.
Superintendent reviews structure
Before rushing to replace retired assistant superintendent Jim Davis, Pasco County schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino wants to take a closer look at exactly how many administrators she needs and where they should be working. She's asked the Florida Association of District School Superintendents to review all management positions with an eye toward possible restructuring. A team is expected to visit the district in early February and to issue a report by the end of the month. "We have areas where we might need additional support, and areas where we might not need as much support," assistant superintendent Ruth Reilly said. The review comes as Fiorentino and her finance team look for ways to offset expected budget shortfalls of $47 million in the next fiscal year.
Firefighters host skateboard event
Local firefighters are sponsoring a skateboard competition Saturday to raise money for a foundation that gives free helmets to those who promise to wear them. Trophies are awarded in each age group. The entry fee is $5. Skateboarders can register for a helmet at the event, sponsored by the firefighters union (Local 4420) and the Council of Firefighters, representing Pasco County, New Port Richey and Zephyrhills. The competition begins at 11 a.m. at the Land O'Lakes community center at 3032 Collier Parkway. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The event will feature prizes, music and food to promote the "Helmet for a Promise" program. All money raised will go to the Ian Tilmann Foundation, a nonprofit named for an avid skateboarder who died in May 2005 from traumatic brain injury suffered in a skateboard accident. He was not wearing a helmet.
Local obituaries are in the Tampa Bay section.