Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Home fire kills two in Town 'N Country

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue members put out a blaze at 4627 Burkett Circle in Tampa on Monday afternoon.


Hillsborough County Fire Rescue members put out a blaze at 4627 Burkett Circle in Tampa on Monday afternoon.

TAMPA — Two people died when a fire tore through a home in a Town 'N Country neighborhood Monday afternoon.

Flames were shooting through the roof of the home at 4627 Burkett Circle when firefighters arrived shortly before 4 p.m. Monday.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials did not release the names of those found inside late Monday, other than to say they were adults. Hillsborough County property records indicate the home is owned by Virginia Jones and Michelle Hayes, whom neighbors described as mother and daughter.

Officials also said they do not believe the fire is suspicious, but they were still investigating the cause.

Clint Gasque was at home, getting ready to make dinner, when he noticed the nearby neighbor's house on fire.

He called 911, ran down the street and knocked out a front window of the house using a log from the yard. Gasque said black smoke was coming from the house, and there were explosions with popping sounds.

"The explosions were just horrendous," he said.

After he heard a third explosion, he retreated. He said he helped other neighbors, who were using their hoses to try to put out the flames, to safety. The fire was too intense to reach those inside, he said.

"I hate to know people were in there," Gasque said.

After getting control of the blaze in a little more than a half hour, firefighters entered the house and found the two people dead inside.

The fire destroyed the one-story, two-bedroom home and caused minor damage to adjacent buildings, melting siding.

Jessica Vila, who lives down the street, said that she noticed fire and heavy smoke coming from the house. She also heard the explosions, she said.

Wendy Williams, who lives next door to the house, said the fire developed quickly.

"By the time (firefighters) got here, the house was so engulfed they couldn't have got out," Williams said.

Jones has lived in the house for about 30 years, Williams said.

She said Jones is handicapped, ill and relied on oxygen tanks, so they didn't see her out often. She said Hayes was often outside in the neighborhood and was very personable.

"You couldn't have asked for nicer neighbors," Williams said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Jimmy Geurts at or (813) 226-3402. Follow @jimmygeurts.

Home fire kills two in Town 'N Country 08/18/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 18, 2014 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tom Sawyer with a revolver? Twain house has live 'Clue' game


    HARTFORD, Conn. — Was it Tom Sawyer in Samuel Clemens' billiard room with a revolver?

    In this July 14 photo, actor Dan Russell, left, portraying the character Arkansas from Mark Twain's book Roughing it, responds to a question from 10-year-old Emma Connell, center, of Arizona during a "Clue" tour at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. The tour allows visitors to interact with Twain characters while playing a live-action version of the board game. [AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb]
  2. East Tampa store owner who survived one shooting is targeted again with fatal results (w/video)


    TAMPA — In the 2011 video, Mahamoud Ibrahim stands behind the counter of his tiny East Tampa convenience store, his back to the surveillance camera meant to discourage thieves.

    A memorial has sprouted in front of the 29th Street Store in East Tampa, where a robber fatally shot owner Mohamoud Ibrahim on July 16. Security experts say small mom-and-pop stores in high crime areas are easy targets for robberies and typically don't have the budgets for extra security measures. [TONY MARRERO/Times Staff]
  3. Pinellas superintendent, School Board pen letter to legislative delegation for help against 'unjust' funds for charter schools


    Because of a recent change in state law, the Pinellas County school district will have to shell out $25 million over five years  -- more funding per student than any other large district in the state -- for charter school construction and maintenance projects, and district officials …

    Pinellas will have to share dollars more per charter school student than any other large or neighboring school district, however smaller school districts will have to share proportionally more of their locally levied millage funds with charter schools for construction and maintenance projects.
  4. AARP still waiting for the two Ricks to send voter education videos


    AARP Florida wants to educate St. Petersburg residents on Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker’s views on how to make the Sunshine City more livable.

    It's been a frenetic St. Pete mayor's race so far. Maybe that's the reason AARP hasn't received voter education videos from the campaigns
  5. Photos: Kehlani packs fans into a sold-out Orpheum in Tampa


    R&B singer Kehlani had to postpone a spring show in Tampa due to illness, but it seemed she was no worse for the wear on Thursday, when her make-up show sold out the Orpheum well in advance. Ella Mai and Jahkoy opened the show. Aubrey Wipfli was there snapping photos; click the headline …

    Kehlani performed at the Orpheum in Tampa on July 20, 2017.