Child playing with lighter destroys North Tampa home

TAMPA

Child playing with LIGHTER DESTROYS HOME

An 11-year-old boy playing with a lighter accidentally started a fire Sunday afternoon that destroyed a North Tampa home, fire officials said. Tampa Fire Rescue responded to a report of a fire at 3:03 p.m. at 10009 N 28th St. Firefighters reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the house. They contained the fire within 25 minutes, officials said. At least three people were there when the fire started, but were able to escape uninjured. A Tampa Fire Marshal's Office investigator questioned the boy, who lived at the house. The boy admitted to playing with a lighter and setting fire to pieces of paper when he dropped the flaming items onto a bed, officials said. The mattress caught fire and the flames quickly spread. The investigator ruled the fire accidental. The home was a total loss with damages estimated at $50,000, officials said.

YBOR CITY

Man accused of hit on police horse

A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after authorities say he struck a police horse. Matthew Ryan Hester, 23, tried to grab the horse's bridle while police were breaking up a disturbance in front of the Tabu nightclub on Seventh Avenue, according to an arrest affidavit. Police told Hester to leave the horse alone. But as he walked past, he struck the horse on the left flank, the affidavit said. Hester, listed in jail records as a student at the University of South Florida, was charged with striking a police horse. He was released from Hillsborough County jail Sunday on $500 bail. The horse, named D'Artagnon — "Dar" for short — was not injured. But Dar has been known to endure worse work-related hazards: In 2007, a man accused of driving under the influence rammed his car into Dar and a mounted officer in Ybor City. Dar suffered scrapes on a right leg and the officer was uninjured. Both were soon back on patrol.

ORLANDO

Anthony trial leads to upcoming book

One of the prosecutors in the Casey Anthony murder trial is writing a book about the case. Jeff Ashton told the Orlando Sentinel that he is finishing a book titled Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony. It's scheduled for release in November. He declined to give details. Ashton was the co-prosecutor in the trial of Anthony, the young mother accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. The trial garnered national media attention. Anthony was acquitted. Ashton retired days later.

Today's picks

HERNANDO COUNTY

Bridge games with Nature Coast Bridge Club: 12:30 p.m., Hernando County Senior Citizens Club, 7925 Rhanbuoy Road, Spring Hill. All levels welcome. (352) 556-3892 or (352) 597-5221.

PASCO COUNTY

'Transition, Chaos, and Now' exhibit by artist Kurt Holyoke: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Art gallery in Pottberg Library, Pasco-Hernando Community College West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. (727) 816-3231.

Today's meeting

HERNANDO COUNTY

Hernando County Commission/Teamsters Local Union 79, collective bargaining negotiations, 9:30 a.m., Department of Public Works, 1525 E Jefferson St., Brooksville.

Times staff, wires

Child playing with lighter destroys North Tampa home 08/28/11 [Last modified: Sunday, August 28, 2011 11:29pm]

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