Thursday, December 14, 2017
Public safety

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 [email protected]


Deputies: Fleeing suspect shoots, injures dog as he runs through yards

DOVER — While fleeing from deputies, a man shot a dog inside a fenced yard Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said they were attempting to pull over a vehicle that might have been stolen near Milagro Court and Bl...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Amtrak train strikes, kills 60-year-old woman in Lakeland

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a 60-year-old woman who was hit by an Amtrak train on Thursday.The woman was struck at 12:30 p.m. in the railroad intersection of Highway 92 East and Fairway Avenue in Lakeland, deputies ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Palm Harbor woman, 23, killed while crossing Seminole Boulevard

SEMINOLE — A 23-year-old Palm Harbor woman was fatally injured when she was struck by a sport-utility vehicle while crossing Seminole Boulevard on Wednesday night, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.The incident took place at about 8:4...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

Dade City man turns himself in on warrants for Polk armed robbery

DADE CITY — A 25-year-old man wanted in connection with the attempted robbery of a taxi driver in Lakeland turned himself in late Wednesday night after being prompted by his mother, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Edner Dely, was wante...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

Horrified friends watch screaming woman driven to her death in Plant City

PLANT CITY — Jonathon Adams heard a scream, "like a dog getting run over by a car," then saw a mini-van come tearing around the corner with a woman he knew dangling out of the passenger side.It was the start of a deadly sequence of events Dec. 8 that...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Second Ruskin man sought in theft of cell tower equipment that interrupted service

TAMPA —The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has obtained a warrant for the arrest of a second suspect in the theft of batteries from cell phone towers that interrupted phone service and the 911 emergency call system.Investigators are looking for ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida Missing Child Alert canceled for Jacksonville boy, 2

Florida Missing Child Alert canceled for Jacksonville boy, 2

A Jacksonville boy, 2, who was reported missing early Thursday morning, has been found safe.A Florida Missing Child Alert has been canceled for Legend Jones, who had last been seen in the 1900 block of Fouraker Road in Jacksonville, according to the ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Crash downs power lines, closes N Florida Avenue in downtown Tampa

TAMPA — A portion of North Florida Avenue is closed in downtown Tampa as TECO crews repair downed power lines after a crash late Wednesday night.The crash occurred around 11:35 p.m. at the intersection of N Florida Avenue and E Fortune Street, accord...
Published: 12/14/17

HCSO continues homeless outreach efforts

BRANDON — A cool crisp breeze swept through the morning grounds of the New Hope Methodist Church as individuals stood in line wearing sweatshirts, jeans and other warm attire as they waited to receive assistance.Deputies from the Hillsborough County ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Officials applaud shark-dragging arrests, hopeful for stricter animal cruelty penalties

Officials applaud shark-dragging arrests, hopeful for stricter animal cruelty penalties

TAMPA — A viral video drew anger and outrage after it showed a flailing shark tethered to a boat, and three men laughing as its lifeless body thrashed in the waters behind them.In the video, which surfaced on social media in July, the men — Michael W...
Updated: 6 hours ago