Fire destroys mobile home in Spring Hill; birds saved

Published Mar. 22, 2013

SPRING HILL — Fire destroyed a mobile home and a 20-foot fishing boat in Spring Hill on Thursday, but pet birds made it out alive, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to 9069 Orchard Way, near the corner of Suncoast Boulevard, after a call came in at 1:21 p.m., said Spring Hill Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Kevin Carroll. The flames spread to the boat, a tree and some brush.

"They had their hands quite full making sure that it didn't spread," Carroll said.

A lack of fire hydrants in the area complicated the effort, Carroll said. A tow truck had to pull one of the fire trucks from deep sugar sand.

No one was home at the time, and there were no reported injuries. A neighbor rescued what Carroll described as several valuable birds before firefighters arrived.

Authorities suspect an electrical short sparked the blaze, but the Fire Marshal's Office is investigating, Carroll said.

Property records show Michael S. Schmidt bought the three-bedroom manufactured home in 2002. The home sits on nearly 5 acres and is valued for tax purposes at $84,189, records show.