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Stove fire damages condo, kills two cats

A woman who left food cooking in the oven Wednesday while she walked her dogs returned to find her Town 'N Country condominium engulfed in flames, officials say.

No one was injured in the blaze that began about 12:30 p.m. at Tudor Cay Condominiums on Tudor Drive off Hillsborough Avenue near Sheldon Road, but the woman's two cats were killed in the fire, said Hillsborough Fire Rescue spokesman Ray Yeakley.

Betty Spivey told officials she left food cooking in the oven while she took her two dogs for a 10-minute walk, Yeakley said. That alone should not have been a problem, because the fire could have stayed contained to the oven, Yeakley said. But before she left, Spivey also inadvertently turned on the burner under a skillet on top the stove that was filled with grease.

By the time she returned, the condo was ablaze, Yeakley said.

Two dozen firefighters with 10 units responded to the fire, putting it out within 25 minutes, he said.

Only Spivey's unit sustained fire damage, but four others had smoke damage, he said. He did not have a dollar amount on the damage.

Officials were working with Spivey to make sure she had a place to stay, Yeakley said.