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4 escape New Port Richey fire but lose dog and house

NEW PORT RICHEY — The fire started on the back porch and crept into the attic as a grandmother, a couple and a 4-month-old girl slept Thursday night.

The smoke detectors at 6245 Old Trail didn't work, but the family heard crackling above them and woke up. Soon after the family raced outside, authorities said, the roof collapsed.

"It's very fortunate we don't have four deaths on our hands," said Mike Ciccarello, assistant chief with Pasco Fire Rescue.

He said the call came in at 11:32 p.m., and the first truck — Engine 30 — was on the scene by 11:36 p.m. Two more engines followed. Ciccarello said 24 firefighters worked the scene until 3 a.m. None were injured.

The family's dog, which had been in the screened-in back porch, died in the fire.

The fire is ruled accidental, though the investigation is not done, Ciccarello said. He said it is too early to pinpoint the cause or estimate the damage.

Property records show the 2,374-square-foot home is owned by Arlene D. Grogg.

Inside the home were a 69-year-old woman who was taken to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation, a 29-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman and the infant. The family declined to comment Friday.

Janet McGuire, a manager with the American Red Cross, said the group is trying to get a car seat and other items for the baby. She said the Red Cross paid for three nights of a hotel stay for the family and is working with them on long-term plans.

"It's very devastating and traumatic," she said.

"They lost everything."

Times researcher Will Gorham contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

How to help

To help the family who lost their home in Thursday night's fire, send a message to Janet McGuire with the American Red Cross at McGuireJa@usa. or call

(727) 848-8354. The Red Cross Web site is

4 escape New Port Richey fire but lose dog and house 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 9:03pm]
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