SEFFNER — A fire that engulfed a mobile home Monday morning claimed the life of a quiet, big-bearded man neighbors knew as George.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue got the call of a fire about 3:20 a.m. Crews arrived at 642 Auxerre Circle a few minutes later to find a fully involved fire, flames peeking out of the roof.
Fire officials had not released the man's identify Monday evening. Neighbors said he spent most of his time working or in his Chateau Forrest mobile home.
"He was pretty much a loner; he didn't come out much," said Carolyn Brotzman, 68, who lives nearby and used to say hello when she was walking her dog.
She said he was friendly. He had several cats, including an orange one simply called "Kittie."
Brotzman said the cat would sit on the man's front porch.
"I used to think it was a statue," she said.
Monday morning, she saw the cat scampering across one of the roads about a block from the burned-out trailer.
No one else was injured in the fire. Its cause is under investigation.