Fundraiser planned for Tampa musicians impacted by house fire

Event Sunday will also help neighbors
Tampa musicians fundraising for fire victims
Posted at 3:53 PM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-05 19:07:01-04

TAMPA — An electrical malfunction from Christmas lights was determined to be the cause of a residential fire that severely damaged a home in Seminole Heights

In the days after the fire, the neighborhood stepped up to help the families affected, raising money and collecting clothes.

Now, months later, the local music scene is stepping up to help as well.

The January 4 fire collapsed the home of Pete Elgers and Julie Undella, and burned much of their belongings.

The fire also damaged the van, and wheelchair ramp of their neighbors, Susie and Keith Ulrey.

Keith Ulrey is the manager of a record shop called Microgroove located on N. Florida Avenue.

Susie Ulrey is the lead of a local music band called Pohgoh.

They're a popular duo among musicians in Tampa, and the community is looking to return the love by throwing a benefit concert this weekend for them and their neighbors.

The event is on Sunday, April 8 at The Bricks at 1327 E. 7th Avenue in Ybor City. The event begins at 3 p.m. 

Several businesses in Seminole Heights have donated items for a raffle, and proceeds collected from the raffle and donations will go to both affected couples.

Back in January, the South Seminole Heights Civic Association collected donations for Pete and Julie.

"Anytime anybody needs something, she's there," said Paul Medrano, a family friend, about Julie back in January. "You can count on Pete for anything and everything in the community."

"All of Seminole Heights has been through some challenges lately, so we know we need to come together as a neighborhood," said Stephen Lytle, president of the South Seminole Heights Civic Association, to ABC Action News back in January. "And we're going to do that again for these neighbors, who in the new year are going through something that's going to be pretty hard times for them."

The South Seminole Heights Civic Association would go on to donate several hundred dollars to the Ulreys to go towards a new van for Susie. They also donated money to Elgers and Undella.

According to the Fire Marshal's office, the fire started on the front porch of the home and extended into the attic. Major fire damage caused a partial collapse of the structure.

Damage to the home and its contents is estimated at $170,000; a total loss. Damage to the neighbor's handicap-accessible van is estimated at $6,000.

Officials say the cause of the fire was due to an electrical malfunction, as multiple electrical cords plugged into an outlet were providing power to several Christmas lights and decorations on the house and in the front yard.