Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two young boys badly hurt in Spring Hill fire; eight animals unaccounted for

SPRING HILL — Jamie Smiley's phone rang before dawn Friday.

It was his sister. Her home was burning with most of the family inside. She said to come quickly.

Smiley raced less than a mile to find the double-wide mobile home on Old Shady Hills Road engulfed in flames. The front gate stood open from where his brother-in-law burst through it in his pickup truck to get the family out. Fire rescue crews were already there dousing the flames.

Smiley, 38, looked through an ambulance's back window and saw his mother being treated. He threw open the doors and jumped inside to be with her.

"I had to check on her, y'know," he said later in the morning.

Crews responded about 6:40 a.m. to the home near the Hernando County line. They arrived to find five adults, ranging in age from 35 to 80, and two young boys making their way out of the burning home, a fire rescue spokesman said. The family was sleeping when the fire began. The fire's cause is still being investigated.

The boys, ages 5 and 6, were severely injured and were taken by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital, a Pasco County spokesman said. Three other family members were first taken to local hospitals and then transferred to Tampa General. Another woman suffered minor burns but refused treatment. One other person in the home also did not go to the hospital.

None of the victims' conditions were known and their names were not released.

Nine pets were inside the home at the time. Two cats, two Pomeranians, two chihuahuas, one Lhasa apso and one husky were listed as unaccounted for Friday afternoon. A rat terrier was taken to St. Francis Veterinary Hospital to be treated for third-degree burns, according to Pasco County Animal Services.

In the 911 recording, an unidentified woman shouts to dispatchers that her mother can't walk, used oxygen tanks to breathe and could not get out of the house.

"Everything I own is in there," the woman says, "my dogs and all."

Later, the woman indicates everyone had made it out of the home and was standing in the yard. She seems to be looking back at the fire in the final seconds of the recording.

"There goes my home," she says.

The home is located behind a used car dealership that sells propane tanks. The fire was declared under control just before 8 a.m., but at 10 a.m., the skeleton of the home was still smoldering while firefighters continued to put water on the rubble. Other family members arrived to watch over the home that once held years of photos and memories.

Melissa Sloop, who is soon to be a daughter-in-law in the family, broke down as she listed everyone who was inside during the fire.

"They can stay with us," she said. "That's all I care about. And I just want them to get better."

Listen to the 911 call

Two young boys badly hurt in Spring Hill fire; eight animals unaccounted for 03/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    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
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.