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 ranch home at 4251 Dristol Ave. The house is owned by Joseph and Barbara Berrios. The couple's son, Joey Berrios, 18, 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, 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 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.
* * *
Motorcyclist killed in crash was from Citrus
Authorities on Friday identified the Citrus County man who died this week after he was thrown from his motorcycle near the Hill 'n Dale community. Adam Halcomb, 30, of the town of Hernando, was driving on State Road 50 near Cammie Street when a Ford Crown Victoria turned in front of him, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
Halcomb and his passenger, Tamsa Ann Abney, 33, also of Hernando, were thrown into the median. Halcomb, who was not wearing a helmet, was flown to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he died, troopers said. Abney, who was wearing a helmet, was seriously injured and taken to the same Pasco County hospital. Her condition was not available Friday.