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July 4th fireworks suspected in 3 Tampa Bay area house fires

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Posted at 6:30 AM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 12:45:15-04

A late-night house fire caused by fireworks destroyed a home in Fishhawk, according to fire rescue officials, and fireworks are also suspected in another house fire in Sarasota County.

On Tuesday, Citrus County Fire Rescue said a third first in Inverness is also related to fireworks.

In Hillsborough County, firefighters said a rapidly-spreading garage fire destroyed a home in Fishhawk. Firefighters were called to the home around 9:47 p.m.

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Fishhawk house fire
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Fishhawk house fire

The first firefighters at the scene found heavy smoke and flames coming through the roof of the garage and central part of the home.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said the homeowner disposed of used fireworks, believed to be out, in a cardboard box in the garage. HCFR said he failed to extinguish them with water.

Investigators believe the heat of the fireworks started the fire in the box which rapidly spread throughout the garage and home.

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Fishhawk house fire

The homeowner told HCFR he was able to rescue two of his three dogs but the third was unaccounted for hours into the operation.

HCFR said difficulties accessing the top and back of the home led to a prolonged firefighting operation.

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Ashley Parkway house fire

The second fire under investigation is a house fire on Ashley Parkway in Sarasota County that happened at 10:14 p.m.

Just after midnight, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said crews were still actively working at the scene. The sheriff's office said all residents in the home are safe.

The fire is still under investigation but officials said fireworks may have started it.

Citrus County Fire Rescue said fireworks also sparked a mobile home fire in Inverness. Crews were called to the fire at 9:11 p.m. and found the home 50% involved with flames.

The homeowner told crews that he and his wife were setting off fireworks in the road when he believed one tipped over, went through the front porch screen and into a bedroom window. The couple heard the smoke alarms activate and went inside where they found the bedroom on fire. They got out and called 911, fire rescue said.

The fire was under control as of 9:36 p.m. Firefighters from Highlands, Hernando, Citrus Springs and Floral City all responded. The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire was accidental.

No injuries were reported. Fire rescue officials said the home is a total loss.

Crews in Hillsborough County also responded to a fire earlier on Monday believed to have been caused by barbecue coals.

HCFR said crews responded to the home in Northdale, on Lakeville Drive, at 4 p.m. Firefighters said flames could be seen shooting through the home's roof.

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Northdale fire

Crews got the fire out within 11 minutes of arriving. No injuries were reported.

The people in the home told HCFR they got rid of what they believed to be cooled coals after barbecuing. HCFR said the coals caught the garbage bin on fire which burned hot enough to extend up the side of the home into the attic.

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Northdale fire