Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

One person killed in Riverview house fire

RIVERVIEW — Jennifer Christopher was delivering newspapers early Thursday near Raulerson Road when she noticed the flames.

At first she thought it was a bonfire, common in the neighborhood.

Then the blaze intensified.

She drove in front of the home at 13918 Raulerson Road about 3:45 a.m. and discovered the house was on fire.

Christopher knew someone lived there. She delivered the paper to the home on Sundays.

Outside, she found a neighbor in the front yard. The man had banged on the door so hard he cut his hand.

Christopher beeped the horn of her car. She yelled. Her daughter also knocked on the door.

No one answered.

"I know this is horrible," said Christopher, a contractor for the Tampa Bay Times. "But I was listening for screams and I didn't hear any."

The neighbor had already called 911. When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting from the roof of the home. As they controlled the blaze, they discovered a body inside, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said.

The cause of the fire was unknown late Thursday. An investigation was under way by the Sheriff's Office and fire marshals.

Because of the extent of the damage, determining the cause will be difficult, said Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Ray Yeakley.

Thursday morning, investigators sifted through the remains of the three-bedroom house. The blackened frames of two cars sat in what was left of the garage. The branches of nearby trees were charred. Only an American flag dangling from a tree in the front yard remained untouched by the flames.

The victim was not identified Thursday, but neighbors said a man whose wife had died of cancer more than a year ago lived in the home.

Wayne Woodard, a neighbor, stood outside and watched investigators come and go from the house. When his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer this year, Woodard said, his neighbor always asked how she was doing.

"All we can do is just pray for him," he said.

Laura C. Morel can be reached at (727) 893-8713 or

A Fire Rescue worker remains on the scene in Riverview early Thursday after the fire was controlled. Firefighters said that when they arrived, flames were shooting from the roof.


A Fire Rescue worker remains on the scene in Riverview early Thursday after the fire was controlled. Firefighters said that when they arrived, flames were shooting from the roof.

One person killed in Riverview house fire 11/15/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]