Fire destroys Seminole Heights house, displacing family of five

TAMPA — Authorities are investigating a fire that engulfed a Seminole Heights home and displaced a family of five early Friday.

Firefighters responded to 1417 E Mohawk Ave. about 5:20 a.m. to find flames overtaking the inside of the house. They had to break down the front door and cut a hole in the roof to contain the fire.

The fire was under control within 20 minutes, said spokesman Capt. Lonnie Benniefield.

Investigators said the fire began in the back bedroom. The cause was not immediately clear.

Sankarjual E. Lee, 33, and her children — 9-year-old twins, a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl — lived in the home, Benniefield said. None of them were home when the fire broke out.

Sankarjual told investigators she and her children had spent the night with a relative and found out about the fire after a neighbor called to tell her there were fire trucks outside her house.

There were no injuries reported at the scene, but investigators estimated about $25,000 in damage.

Several arson experts examined the scene throughout the morning. About 30 firefighters and several Tampa police officers also responded.

The investigation is ongoing.

Fire destroys Seminole Heights house, displacing family of five 10/14/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 14, 2011 8:20pm]

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