Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville family loses possessions in fire

BROOKSVILLE — As Dakota Tobery walked back from the Shop 'n Save on Thursday evening, some neighborhood kids ran toward him.

The home Tobery shares with his girlfriend and her three children was on fire, the kids said.

Tobery started running.

"By the time I got here, it was engulfed," Tobery said Friday morning as he and girlfriend Ann Lee searched for possessions to salvage from the blackened shell at 20106 Wildwood Drive, on the northwest side of Brooksville.

Fire crews arrived about 7 p.m. to find the front half of the home ablaze, said Frank DeFrancesco, assistant chief for Hernando County Fire Rescue. No one was home at the time, and there were no injuries.

Built in 1969, the home is a hybrid of sorts, with block walls built around a mobile home covered by a second roof. That created a challenge in battling the blaze, DeFrancesco said.

"In between the roofs is a major void, and it was hard to get to and find the fire," he said.

The Brooksville Fire Department helped bring the fire under control in about 45 minutes, dispatch records show. Crews were back at the house Friday morning when a smoldering area in the ceiling reignited.

The state fire marshal is investigating, but the source of the fire appears to be electrical, DeFrancesco said. The home was valued at about $24,000, county property records show.

Lee was at work when she got the call that her house was on fire.

"I just was worried about my kids and my animals," she said.

The children were with Tobery, but the family dog and two guinea pigs perished.

"Everything is gone," Lee said.

First Baptist Church of Brooksville covered the cost of a hotel room Thursday night. The church is working to get clothes, food and other necessities for the family, said Pastor Matt Ellis. The Red Cross also is helping.

"Hopefully not only our church but the community will rally around and kind of help them out in this time," Ellis said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at or (352) 848-1431.

Brooksville family loses possessions in fire 08/03/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 1:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]