BROOKSVILLE — Neighbors ran into a burning mobile home Thursday, yelling to alert anybody who might still be inside.
But a man in the rear bedroom never answered.
The man, who officials believe was in his early 30s, appeared to have died as the fire tore through the home at 11811 Broad St., in Tall Oaks Village mobile home park.
Hernando County Fire Rescue District Chief Robert Miller said the fire started in the bedroom where firefighters found the corpse.
Fire Marshal Richard Tincher said an autopsy will determine the cause of death.
The cause of the blaze was still under investigation late Thursday.
Initially, officials believed the victim was a 50-year-old woman, but a medical examiner determined the body was a younger man's.
Neighbors said a woman in her 50s and her son lived in the home.
Officials had determined the victim's identity, but did not immediately release it.
Danielle Whitehouse, 27, who lives next door to the burned home, was the first to call 911 when she smelled smoke in her home. "Within 10 minutes, the whole thing was on fire," she said.
Russ Turber, 47, who lives on Broad Street, said when he first noticed the fire there was just a lot of smoke. "Then," he said, "the back corner just went up."
Residents scrambled, trying to help until firefighters arrived. "Anybody that had a cell phone in their hand was calling to get the Fire Department out here," Turber said.
The blaze ripped a hole through the bedroom wall, and the heat caused the carport to collapse. The rest of the mobile home was largely undamaged.
Neighbors said they had climbed on their roofs with garden hoses, trying both to smother a fire next door and to protect their own homes.
Michael Sanserino can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1430.