Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Blaze destroys Holiday home, hard work

A neighbor wets down his roof as firefighters battle a blaze three houses down at 3922 Star Island Drive in Holiday on Monday.


A neighbor wets down his roof as firefighters battle a blaze three houses down at 3922 Star Island Drive in Holiday on Monday.

HOLIDAY — White smoke sliced through Monday's clear skies, leaving behind the charred remains of an unfinished home.

At 3922 Star Island Drive in Holiday, all that was left were remnants of a family's life: a scorched lawn mower and broken pieces of burned wood.

Neighbors crowded around Brad and Tina Hartman, both 42, doling out hugs and bottled water in the afternoon heat.

The loss was especially bitter for the family because Brad Hartman was almost done adding a second story to the home, which housed a bedroom and bathroom.

The family bought the Aloha Gardens home in 2002 for $110,000, according to property records. Brad Hartman, a construction worker, began renovations about two years ago. Meanwhile, the family — including wife Tina and their two children, Andrew and Jade Adams — set up living quarters in the garage.

On Monday, Brad and Tina Hartman stood on a neighbor's lawn near their home. He held her as she wept into his chest.

"Everything, it's all gone," she said, crying.

Pasco County Fire Rescue responded to the call at 2:25 p.m. No one was home when the fire started.

The kids were at school, and Tina Hartman was at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, working as a patient technician.

"My son called me, and he said some kid called saying there's fire trucks at our house," Tina Hartman said. "I automatically came from work."

Meanwhile, Brad Hartman was at the family's veterinarian in Land O'Lakes with dogs Bambi and Cookie and cat Felix.

Tina Hartman thought her husband might have already brought the animals home from the vet and returned to his construction company, so she called him at work.

"Then I told one of my friends to call the vet to tell him the house is on fire," she said.

Fire investigators were still gathering details about the fire Monday.

"We don't know where it started," said Mike Ciccarello, Pasco County assistant fire chief. "The bulk of the fire was upstairs. The fire could've started downstairs and gone up."

While the Hartman family pets were out of harm's way when the blaze started, the family couldn't find an unnamed neighborhood cat they had been taking care of. They hoped it had simply wandered off.

As the street was filled with fire trucks and bystanders, Brad Hartman contemplated the work he'd done on the house.

"Every nail, every screw," he said, pausing. "I just feel sick."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Blaze destroys Holiday home, hard work 03/17/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 9:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]