Knocked-over candle starts fire that destroyed a large Seffner house

Posted at 3:33 AM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 08:37:26-04

A fire destroyed a Seffner house Thursday night.

According to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, crews arrived at the house on Cactus Drive at 10:37 p.m. and found the estimated 6,000-square-foot home engulfed in flames.

The homeowner says the fire began in a back bedroom when his sleeping son kicked over a candle.

Firefighters say it was difficult to fight the fire because the home had a double roof, one literally melted on top of the other. That tar along with thick pine wood helped to keep the fire.

Firefighters brought in a gradall tractor to remove sections of the top of the home so water could be sprayed inside. It took crews more than two hours to bring the fire under control.

The family's four dogs safely made it outside, however a cat is missing. One person suffered a minor burn but refused to be transported to a hospital.

The homeowner says he's lived in the house for 40-years.

"We don't have a home, simple as that,” said Gene Hickman. “It's gone. Everything is gone.”

The family is stayed in a hotel overnight. The Red Cross is providing them emergency assistance. The good news is their home was insured.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting the fire and has since been released from the hospital.