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Pasco County family struggles to find place to live after losing home in fire

Roundelay Drive fire NPR.png
Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 14, 2023

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — With a fire raging inside his garage, Scott Reynolds said he made a big mistake by opening the door.

“Didn’t realize what was going on. It happened very quickly. The smell of electricity going through the house. And unfortunately, opening the wrong door and being rewarded with some bad stuff,” said Scott.

That bad stuff was smoke he breathed in. The smoke sent him to the hospital, where he was intubated for three days.

But Scott is out now, and he and his family are figuring out what to do next.

“It’s a lot. It’s not a pleasant experience,” said Jasen.

The fire started Thursday evening in Reynold’s home on Roundelay Drive in New Port Richey.

The family said it may have been caused by the battery on their golf cart. Elizabeth was making dinner at the time.

“People outside knew it was on fire before we knew,” said Elizabeth.

Everyone got out, including their three dogs and five geckos.

But now comes the problem of finding somewhere else for this family of five to live.

“It’s spring break in Florida, and all the Air BnBs are gone. So that’s our biggest challenge is finding someplace to go for all of us,” said Elizabeth.

“We need to find a place to go. I’ve got a couple of dogs that are my family, and they are living in cages right now. And it just hurts knowing they are there without us,” said Scott.

Much of their furniture and belongings are trashed, so a family friend started a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.

“The love is overwhelming. But we will still have to find a place to go,” said Elizabeth.