Woman dies, man injured in Riverview house fire

Published Jan. 28, 2014

RIVERVIEW — Flames tore through the inside of a Riverview home Monday morning, leaving an elderly woman dead and a man hospitalized, according to fire officials.

Investigators are trying to learn the cause of the fire, but it is not considered suspicious.

A neighbor phoned 911 and reported the blaze about 7:30 a.m. inside the single-story home at 7811 Alafia Drive, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials said. When firefighters arrived, smoke was seeping from the front of the home. As they made their way inside, they found Carol Williams, 77, in the front room unconscious.

Williams was carried outside, where she was declared dead, authorities said.

As they worked their way further into the home, firefighters found Richard Williams, 81, in another area, officials said.

He was carried outside and taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he is in critical condition, fire officials said.

"I think it was accidental, but it's going to be a long investigation," said Fire Rescue spokesman Ronnie Rivera.

About a half-dozen family members of the couple gathered at a nearby street corner early Monday as fire investigators blocked the street.

A woman, who said she was the couple's daughter, said she was too distraught to speak.

"Right now, I just want to curl up in a ball," she said.

Times staff writer Caitlin Johnston contributed to this report.