Air conditioner fire damages mobile home
Two people were displaced after a fire at Paradise Mobile Home Park on Sunday afternoon. The fire started in a central air conditioning unit and spread through the ductwork of the two-bedroom home at 7111 142nd Ave. N, No. 1, said Largo Fire Rescue Lt. Kevin Brennan. The two occupants, who were not identified, were home when the fire started shortly after 4 p.m. They were staying with friends and family Sunday night, Brennan said. The blaze was contained within 45 minutes. No one was injured, and damages are estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Officials: Arson cause of fire
A fire Sunday night at the Source of Life Community Development Center was caused by arson, said officials with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue. Firefighters who arrived at the two-story concrete block building at 2500 Ninth Ave. S shortly after 9 p.m. saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the second-floor windows. They were able to contain the fire to the second floor, said Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata. No one was in the building during the fire, Granata said. The building is valued at $114,000 and damage is estimated at about $30,000. The fire is under investigation.
Rep.: Punish illegal parents, not kids
Parents living in the United States illegally should be punished, but separating them from their U.S.-born children is not the answer, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, said Sunday during a gathering of more than 1,000 people at a pro-immigrant rally. The farm community is part of a 17-city tour advocating comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for those in the U.S. illegally. "We have to recognize and deal with (their violation) but in a just way. Separating and leaving U.S. citizens without their parents is not the best solution. We need reasonable consequences," Diaz-Balart said. Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, has traveled across the country on the tour. He said he hopes the events will "hold the president's feet to the fire" and remind the administration that many who voted for Barack Obama want immigration reform.
Emaciated Florida manatee found
Bahamian officials are trying to figure out how to save a manatee from Florida found stranded in the Bahamas. The emaciated manatee is missing a third of its tail from a long-ago boat accident. The manatee — nicknamed "Crusoe" in honor of the British adventurer — has proved elusive, said Charles Manire, a veterinarian at the resort Atlantis, which has an aquarium. "It is very, very thin," he said. "Something needs to be done to help her nutritionally pretty soon." Florida officials confirmed they had taken its picture in 1980 for a program to protect the endangered species. They had noted its disfigured tail, Manire said. Rum Cay is more than 373 miles southeast of Florida's southern tip. Scientists fear there is not enough food in Rum Cay for the manatee to survive. Crusoe could be transported back to Florida via helicopter or aboard a boat, Manire said.
Staff and wire reports