NewsPasco County


3-year-old girl still critical after fire kills 4-year-old brother and grandfather, family says

Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 11:47:31-05

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A man and his 4-year-old grandson have died after a house caught fire in Pasco County on Friday, according to family members.

Pasco County Fire Rescue responded to the call of a residential home fire in the 29700th block of Darby Road in San Antonio a little after 10 p.m.

Family members say 61-year-old Donald Maier, his 4-year-old grandson Zayden Maier and 3-year-old granddaughter Alani Jiles were inside at the time. Firefighters pulled them all from the home and transported them to local hospitals.

Maier and Zayden both died after the fire, according to family members. Alani is still in the hospital where she is listed in critical condition. According to her mother Emily Maier, doctors say she is expected to survive.

Emily Maier with her children Zayden and Alani

Firefighters say there were also 11 dogs on the property during the fire. One of the adult dog and eight puppies died in the fire, officials say. The two surviving dogs are being cared for by the Pasco County Animal Control.

Family members say Donald Maier lived at the house with his daughter, his son and his two grandchildren. His daughter, Emily Maier was at work and his son was not home when the fire broke out, according to family members.

Family members believe Donald Maier was asleep when the fire broke out. He was born deaf and likely did not hear the fire, family members tell ABC Action News.

Donation boxes for the family have been set up at the following Burger King locations:

  • 30005 SR 52, San Antonio
  • 28136 SR 54 , Wesley Chapel
  • 5610 North Gall Blvd, Zephyrhills
  • 20590 Bruce B Downs Blvd

The family says there will be a car wash fundraiser at the Bruce B Downs location on February 23 to raise money for Alani's medical bills. It starts at 12 p.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.