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Woman, 78, dies in overnight Plant City fire

Posted at 5:21 AM, May 30, 2016
An elderly Plant City woman is dead after rescue crews pulled her from a burning building early Monday morning. 
 
Officers responding to the fire learned someone might be inside and began trying to get inside the burning building at 1814 Bond Street in Plant City.
 
Their first attempt was cut short due to intense heat and smoke. Once they got inside through a second door, they found a woman slumped over and dragged her out.  
 
Crews performed CPR and an ambulance took her to the hospital. 
 
A release from Plant City police said Virginia Carpenter, 78, died at the hospital from what is believed to be smoke inhalation. Friends and neighbors say she lived in the home with her daughter and four grandchildren. 
 
"If she had 5 pennies and they needed 5 cents, that 5 cents would go to them," Delazia Jones said about Carpenter's love and generosity toward her grandchildren.
 
Jones and another friend, Toshiba Robinson, mentor two of Carpenter's teenage grandchildren. They watched as rescue crews tried to save Carpenter from the fire.
 
"What we seen was like a horror movie," Robinson said. "The kids running everywhere, wanting to know what was going on. But, we didn't know what was going on.  We had to diffuse the situation out here because there was nothing we could do in there."
 
The State Fire Marshall was called in to investigate. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Crews were focusing their investigation in a back bedroom.