Massive Northdale house fire made more dangerous by military-style flamethrowers inside

Man arrested near the scene of the fire
Posted at 10:58 PM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 07:46:28-05

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A massive house fire in Northdale was made worse by two military-style flamethrowers inside the home.

Crews responded to 16311 Norwood Dr. just after 7 p.m. Monday after a neighbor called 911 after smelling smoke and seeing flames coming from the house next door.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue firefighters had to duck for cover as explosions started going off in the home.

As firefighters went into the home, they had to get out when they realized it wasn't safe.

Officials say they believe the person living in the home set the fire. He took off running when first responders arrived on scene.

According to the Hillsborough County arrest log, a man was arrested at a house nearby. Deputies have not said if this arrest is related to the house fire. Patrick "Pat" O'Brien, 53, was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on Monday night and charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling with assault and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He is being held with no bond at this time. O'Brien is the lead guitarist for the death metal band Cannibal Corpse. 

"Very scary, I was thinking 'my house it’s going to go if they don’t hurry up and get here' but they saved our house and we don’t have any damage or anything," neighbor Tammy Lay said. 

Hillsborough Fire is investigating the cause of the fire.