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Weekend fires damage two homes

OLDSMAR — An Oldsmar couple escaped their burning home early Sunday morning after they were alerted to the blaze when their smoke alarm went off.

Deputies with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office were on routine patrol at 4 a.m. when they noticed smoke coming from the home at 508 E Buckingham Ave., officials said.

Residents Lee King, 61, and Julie King, 53, had already escaped by way of a spiral staircase at the back of the home when deputies arrived. All other exits were blocked by smoke or flames, deputies said.

No one was injured in the pre-dawn blaze. Arson detectives with the Sheriff's Office are investigating but said the cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.

Three vehicles in the King's garage also were destroyed in the fire. Total damages are estimated to be about $500,000.

Also on Sunday, a Clearwater home suffered about $20,000 in damage after a fire that displaced four people.

It took about 20 minutes for Clearwater Fire Rescue crews to bring the blaze under control at the duplex at 2029 Douglas Ave., said Clearwater public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts.

Firefighters got the call at 2:41 p.m., after homeowner Galen Hauk, 72, arrived and saw smoke and flames coming from the structure.

Investigators determined the electrical fire, which started in a first-floor bedroom, was accidental.

Weekend fires damage two homes 06/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 1:55pm]
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