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Hillsborough County Fire Rescue 911 dispatcher loses everything in fire day after Christmas

Posted at 9:59 PM, Dec 28, 2020

ODESSA, Fla. — A Hillsborough County Fire Rescue 911 dispatcher lost everything in a house fire the day after Christmas.

Zachary Williams and his family took a trip to Target.

While they were out, his wife received a phone call from a neighbor.

"We got a call from a neighbor who was frantic saying that our apartment was on fire," said Zachary Williams.

On December 26, Pasco County firefighters responded to a fire at the Tuscano at Suncoast Crossings apartment complex in Odessa.

Firefighters found flames coming from the second and third floors of an apartment building.

Firefighters said a neighbor was using a grill on the balcony when the fire started.

Williams has a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old. The family of four lost everything.

Zachary-Williams-Family.jpg

"We're still trying to wrap our heads around it, you know. We did get my wife's wedding ring. We got baby pictures things like that, but there are things you can't put a value on," said Williams.

Video from inside the apartment showed the Christmas tree still standing. The bedroom was destroyed. The blades on the ceiling fan were melted off.

Williams said the family lost irreplaceable items.

"There's a whole list, but for starters, there were stockings that my grandmother made before she passed away and things like that, that you can't get back," said Williams.

Williams works as a 911 dispatcher for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue because he said he wanted to help others.

"I've always wanted to help people, just something about being there for somebody when they need you the most. You know you make a difference. I see this happening on a regular basis at work, you never think it's your kids that aren't going to have a home to go to, you know," said Williams.

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $15,000 for the family.

"The support has been overwhelming considering the world we live in right now and everything going on and to see people come together the way that they have for us. There are truly good people in the world still and that's evident," said Williams.

For more information on how to help the family, click here.