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Dunedin family able to escape early morning fire

DUNEDIN — A mother and her 19-year-old son escaped a fire at their home early Sunday morning, Dunedin Fire Department officials said.

The fire was reported by a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputy who noticed smoke coming from the residence when he was on his way home at the end of his shift.

Deputy Gerald Mason, 37, found 54-year-old Diane Rockow and her son Maxwell Rockow exiting the building when he approached, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office.

Diane Rockow said she was awakened by the sound of debris falling onto the rear patio and was able to alert her son to get out, said Dunedin Fire Division Chief Bill McElligott.

When firefighters arrived at 7:05 a.m., they saw smoke and fire coming from the back of multi-unit structure at 1125 Broadway.

Additional units from Clearwater and Palm Harbor were called to the scene and the blaze was quickly brought under control. There was no damage to adjacent structures, some of which were evacuated as a safety precaution.

Dunedin Deputy Fire Marshal Kelly Intzes said the fire started on a sofa on the rear patio, then spread inside the home. The fire has been ruled accidental but the cause has not been determined.

Fire, heat and smoke damages are estimated at $125,000.

The American Red Cross is providing temporary shelter for the family.

One firefighter suffered a minor burn, McElligott said.

The Rockows were not injured.

Dunedin family able to escape early morning fire 12/27/09 [Last modified: Sunday, December 27, 2009 4:23pm]

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