Hillsborough County Fire Rescue investigating Ruskin house fire that took man's life

RUSKIN - Sylvia Debaun's life came to a screeching halt after learning her grandfather lost his life in the home he loved.

"I would always ask him, 'Grandpa are you ever going to sell this house?' He would say 'no this is my house I'm never leaving," she told ABC Action New Sunday morning.

Investigators with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue responded to a fire at fourth avenue south east in Ruskin.

"It was a big fire right there by the window," said next door neighbor Destiny Kripe.

Kripe was woken up when she spotted the blaze outside of her bedroom at her neighbor's. The fire was so intense Kripe pointed to a window the fire cracked and a door and window blinds that melted from the flames.

On arrival firefighters said the flames engulfed 81-year-old Filibert Morquecho's home. Investigators said two roommates living with Morquecho escaped, but he did not.

"He put everything into this house. He built so much out of this house," said his granddaughter.

Debaun said after a past break-in her grandfather installed bars around his windows and a heavy duty lock on his door.

"There was no way of busting his door down to get him out, they tried," she said.

Investigators found Morquecho's body near the front door in a hallway.

His family calls Morquecho a giving man, helping those in need by giving them a  temporary home.

"He would take you in and watch over you," said his niece Tanya Whatley.

His granddaughter agrees.

"He would do anything in the world to help anybody. If you didn't have anywhere to go he would let you stay, even if he didn't have a room to let you stay in he would let you sleep out on the couch," said Debaun.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments