PALM HARBOR — Deputies have blamed a fiery toaster for starting a condo fire Tuesday morning that sent an elderly couple to the hospital with minor injuries.
The toaster caught fire after Elizabeth Tota, 85, started cooking waffles about 9:30 a.m., Pinellas deputies said. She lives at 2642 Pine Ridge Way S, Building 524-E2.
Tota noticed the flames shortly after and left the condo with her husband, Nicholas Tota, 84.
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue and Pinellas County sheriff's deputies evacuated part of the building as fire fighters put it out.
They allowed the residents to enter their homes again within minutes of containing the fire, deputies said.
The fire was mostly contained to the kitchen, though the couple's master bedroom also sustained smoke damage. It will be several months before the couple can move back in the condo, said Fire Rescue spokeswoman Liz Monforti.
Fire Rescue took Nicholas to Mease Countryside Hospital as a precaution for smoke inhalation, and a family member took Elizabeth to the hospital, too.
Another resident who lives across the hall, Lorraine Daloisio, was treated and released at the scene, deputies said.
The fire remains under investigation.
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