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Two safely escape early morning house fire in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A mother and her 5-year-old daughter escaped a house fire Wednesday morning after a neighbor jogging by saw flames coming from the roof and banged on their door to warn them .

Natasha Carter and her daughter Isabella Messina, 5, were sleeping in their one-story pink brick house on 47th Avenue N when their neighbor, Meredith Mikell, jogged past around 6 a.m. and saw flames.

"Every morning I go for a run and I usually don't run this route," Mikell said. "But when I ran past the house I saw flames coming from the roof area. I knocked on the side door of the house and woke them up."

Carter said she thinks the smoke detectors didn't go off because the fire was outside in the roof area.

"The fire was spreading through the attic," she said. "We were really lucky to get out."

Firefighters were able to retrieve some of Isabella's stuffed animals, which were strewn across a blanket on the street Wednesday morning. But the rest of their belongings might be lost to smoke damage.

The cause of the fire was not yet determined, spokesman Steve Lawrence said.

The house had extensive interior smoke and water damage. Lawrence said the Red Cross stepped in to help Carter and her daughter find housing.

Times photographer Scott Keeler contributed to this report.

Two safely escape early morning house fire in St. Petersburg 12/02/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 4:01pm]
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