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Woman flees mobile home fire

Denise Hurd stopped by her next-door neighbor's home to wish her a happy 54th birthday Monday evening.

About 11 p.m., Hurd brought Janet Ingalls a helping of chicken livers, green beans, a baked potato and a piece of vanilla cake.

Then, Hurd returned home to catch the news. A few minutes later, she heard a funny crackling noise outside. She peered out the living room window to see Ingalls' mobile home up in flames.

"It was a big blaze of orange," Hurd said.

Ingalls' other neighbors Roger and Marguerite Marcotte called 911 at 11:17 p.m.

Within four minutes the first Largo Fire Rescue engine was at the scene, Deputy Chief of Operations Jeff Bullock said.

Three fire engines were dispatched to the Eldorado Village mobile home park at 2505 East Bay Drive. Each unit had 500 gallons of water, Bullock said.

A rescue unit, a truck and a squad car were also on the scene, said Largo fire investigator Ron Bassett.

Ingalls, the only resident of the mobile home, made it outside. She suffered from smoke inhalation. She was taken to Largo Medical Center, where she remained for testing on Wednesday.

From her hospital room, Ingalls said she was having headaches and that her throat was sore. But mostly, she said, she's just scared.

She moved to the park 2{ years ago from Danvers, Mass.

"I don't remember a whole lot," Ingalls said. "I remember trying to find my cat."

Neighbors said she was "hysterical" with worry for her tiger cat, Tazz.

Tazz made it out okay, too.

Hurd said Ingalls had told her that after she lit a candle, she went to the bathroom. When she came out, the house was on fire.

Ingalls told a reporter that she thinks her pet may have tipped over the candle.

The mobile home sustained $15,000 to $20,000 worth of damage, Bassett said. Ingalls doesn't have insurance.

"I just don't know what to expect, where I'll go from here," Ingalls said.

The scorched hull of the home is all that remains. The carport collapsed during the fire and only charred remnants of her belongings are visible inside. A few pages from the book Polly's Principles are scattered on the ground near what's left of the home.

Hurd said only a stack of singed photos was salvageable.

Firefighters ran out of water at one point, Hurd said. That period was brief and likely occurred while the third truck hooked up to a hydrant on East Bay Drive about 1,000 feet from the fire, Bullock said.

_ Lorri Helfand can be reached at 445-4155 or at