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Pasco SWAT team retrieves man after standoff at burning house

Pasco firefighters put out a blaze at a home on Chipmunk Drive on Wednesday after a man barricaded himself inside the home. The man, whose name was not released, was retrieved by the SWAT team.

JAMIE KLEIN | Times

Pasco firefighters put out a blaze at a home on Chipmunk Drive on Wednesday after a man barricaded himself inside the home. The man, whose name was not released, was retrieved by the SWAT team.

NEW PORT RICHEY — A tense standoff began Wednesday afternoon after a man threatened his family with a gun, authorities said.

It ended more than an hour later, amid a cloud of thick, dark smoke, as the SWAT team stormed inside a burning house to retrieve the man.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, was flown to a local hospital with unknown injuries, Pasco County sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said. A woman from the home was also taken to the hospital, said James Maynard, a chief with Pasco Fire Rescue.

Their conditions were not available Wednesday evening.

It's unclear what started the family dispute at 4323 Chipmunk Drive. Deputies were called about 3:30 p.m. regarding the man's threats to his family. The relatives were outside by the time the special weapons and tactics unit arrived, Doll said.

The man barricaded himself inside the home, tucked in a neighborhood north of Old County Road 54. Deputies shut down Chipmunk Drive, surrounded the home and attempted to talk to the man, whom they believed was armed with a gun.

The fire started shortly after 5 p.m., prompting the SWAT team to go inside and retrieve the man. Investigators have not yet determined what sparked the blaze, which took firefighters between 30 and 45 minutes to extinguish.

One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation and taken to a local hospital for observation, Maynard said.

John Casalino, a neighbor who lives down the street, watched Wednesday evening as firefighters doused the charred remains of the home. He said there had been trouble at that house before, including a shooting two years ago.

"This does not shock me that this went down," Casalino said.

Pasco SWAT team retrieves man after standoff at burning house 08/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:42pm]
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