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Fire destroys Tampa home hours ahead of Tropical Storm Eta

Posted at 11:23 PM, Nov 16, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — While much of Tampa Bay braced for Tropical Storm Eta, a local family was in a desperate fight to save their home from a fire.

Tampa Firefighters responded to the home on Hamilton Avenue Wednesday afternoon to find heavy smoke and flames spreading through the kitchen and attic.

“I don’t have a house,” said Vivian Miranda. “Everything is destroyed.”

It was a tough one-two punch as severe weather hit Tampa not long after the fire started on the family’s backyard patio.

Antonio Miranda, 22, was sleeping in the home. He credits a phone call from a friend and a neighbor yelling next door for alerting him to the emergency.

“I’m grateful every day that I got that call from him,” said Antonio. “God gave me another chance to keep living my life to my best-kept abilities so, you know, I will always have a positive outlook over everything.”

Investigators are still trying to figure out what started the fire. They say it did about $40,000 in damages.

Above all else, the Miranda family remains thankful.

Friends and family members are now raising money to help them get back on their feet and find a new permanent place to live.

“You can always buy another TV,” said Antonio. “You can always buy another game system or a new pair of shoes, but you can’t buy somebody’s life back."