Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg man loses home, pets in late night fire

ST. PETERSBURG — Firefighters had two missions when they descended upon the burning mobile home off Gandy Boulevard late Thursday:

Save the home next door, and save the cats trapped inside the blaze.

The neighbor's home escaped unscathed. The same cannot be said for the 11 cats that lived in trailer No. 46.

There was only one survivor, an orange tabby named Corky.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue District Chief Rich Johnson said firefighters arrived to find flames shooting through the roof and the cats inside straining to get out. Firefighters started breaking windows to let them out.

"I saw a cat hanging on a window screen when I got here," Johnson said. But after firefighters tried to free the cat, the chief said, the animal ran the wrong way.

Neighbors reported the fire at Twin City Mobile Home Park, 10636 Gandy Blvd. N about 11:30 p.m. It took firefighters from St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park about 40 minutes to knock it down.

No people were inside at the time.

John P. McNally Jr., 62, spent half his life in that home. He was caring for his 82-year-old mother at her home when a Pinellas sheriff's deputy called him.

"I have some very disturbing news for you," McNally said the deputy told him. "Your home has been damaged in a fire."

"How bad?" asked McNally, a volunteer teacher at Pinellas Technical Education Center.

"Bad," the deputy said.

After arriving home, McNally had to be consoled after he saw the bodies of two of his pets on the ground, wrapped in blankets. The oldest of his cats was 13, he said, the youngest 5.

His home was declared a total loss. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

During the clean-up, a firefighter offered McNally a folder of information to help him cope in the days ahead.

"Is there a coupon for a pizza in there?" McNally asked. "How about a six pack? Because I could sure use that."

St. Petersburg man loses home, pets in late night fire 12/11/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017


    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  5. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.