HUDSON, Fla. — A three-alarm fire in Pasco County destroyed two homes, damaged two others, and sent one person to the hospital with severe burn injuries.
Pasco County Fire Rescue responded to a 911 call about a residential structure fire on Driftwood Drive around 6 a.m. Monday. When crews arrived, three homes were on fire.
“Due to the high winds that were going on, the amount of fire that was there, the fire was actually upgraded from a second, and then to a third-alarm structure fire,” said Corey Dierdorff, Public Information Officer for Pasco County Fire Rescue.
Crews discovered one victim on the scene suffering from severe burn injuries. That victim was flown to Tampa General Hospital.
The victims of the house next door to the burn victim lost everything in the fire, but made it out safely.
Due to the heavy winds spreading the fire this morning, neighbors across the street were forced to evacuate for a short time.
“Someone was banging on the door and I was really confused cause I didn’t know if it was still nighttime, or if it was morning or not yet, so I went to look out my window and the whole entire house was on fire,” said Hannah Colson, a neighbor who lives across the street.
Smoke completely engulfed parts of the street and the wind sent embers and ashes to the trees on the opposite side of the road.
“The smoke was so intense, you couldn’t even see this house, and I thought to myself, ‘boy, I certainly hope the fire doesn’t spread to their house.’ But in the meantime, I’m looking, and the embers and the sparks are like a blizzard flying over my house. Just like a blizzard because the wind was probably about 20 knots or so,” said Guy Colson, a neighbor who lives across the street.
More than 80 firefighters and 30 units responded from both Pasco and Hernando Counties.
“We actually had to call in additional units to go a street over, on the other side of the canal, cause embers were starting to land in the yards and start fires, so we were concerned that a house over there may catch on fire,” said Dierdorff.
The fire completely destroyed two homes and several vehicles. It also left another two homes damaged.
Investigators are still working to determine what exactly caused the fire.
If you'd like to donate to two of the victims who lost their home in the fire, click here.