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1 child, 1 adult killed in mobile home fire in Tampa

Posted at 4:39 AM, Jul 21, 2016

One child and one adult were killed when fire engulfed a single-wide mobile home on Garden Lane just east of Tampa late Wednesday night, officials said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call about the mobile home fire in the 5300 block of Garden Lane shortly after 11 p.m., according to sheriff's office spokesman Larry McKinnon. A dispatcher was told people were inside the mobile home.

When firefighters and deputies arrived to render first aid, the structure was in flames and there was an adult male, 43, on the ground suffering from smoke inhalation and burns. He told officials that his mother and a child were in the house. Deputies say they could hear a female yelling from inside the home. 

The park manager, who identified himself as Walter, named the victims as Eva Diaz, 58, Jose Diaz, 43, and Benjamin Albriza, 2.

Neighbor Dallas Russell says he ran into the home and was able to grab the woman by the arm but the flames forced him back out.

Russell's partner, Mary, who is four months pregnant, says she heard the 2-year-old screaming.

"It send chills down my arms," recalled Mary.

According to Mary, Russell pulled the air conditioning unit out of the wall and tried to rescue the baby.  He was not able to do so.

A deputy ran into the home to rescue the little boy and woman. The deputy got to the adult female and was trying to pull her from the house when the fire caused an explosion that threw the deputy back and burned his arms and his hands. The deputy tried to run back into the home but the fire was too intense for him to go back inside. 

The fire was quickly extinguished by Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

Diaz and Albriza were found dead inside of the home. Officials are waiting for the Medical Examiner's Office to officially identify the victims. The 43-year-old male who had gotten out of the mobile home, was taken to a hospital for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation.

Deputy Dane Tewmey, 29, was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and burns on his hands. He has since been released. He has been employed with The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office since October 2009.

A joint investigation is under way by the State Fire Marshals Office, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, the medical examiner's office and Hillsborough sheriff's deputies to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

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