Friday, April 20, 2018
Public safety

Spring Hill house fire ruled accidental

SPRING HILL — The fire that destroyed a home in Spring Hill on Thursday afternoon started accidentally, possibly by someone smoking in bed, authorities said Friday.

Firefighters received a call about 2:20 p.m. and arrived minutes later to find flames engulfing the rear of the Florida-style ranch home at 4251 Dristol Ave.

The house is owned by Joseph and Barbara Berrios. The couple's son, 18-year-old Joey Berrios, was shot by a Hernando sheriff's deputy during an alleged altercation in February.

"The fire started in the 18-year-old's bedroom, and (investigators) believe it was from smoking in bed," said Capt. Tammy White of the state fire marshal's office.

Joey Berrios, who was home with his grandfather at the time, was distraught at the scene, so his parents asked deputies to take him into protective custody, said Peyton Hyslop, the family's attorney. A former standout football player at Nature Coast Technical High School, Berrios was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer after the February shooting. His trial is set for August.

Records show the home is valued at $33,160 due to confirmed sinkhole activity. The family does not have insurance, Hyslop said.

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