Tampa firefighters battled a massive blaze in the VM Ybor neighborhood just after 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Crews rushing to the home knew several people were trapped inside. When they pulled up, they had to navigate around a downed power line near the driveway.
"Anytime you are confronted with electricity and chain link fences, that's always a big hazard for firefighters because those chain link fences you could be a block down the road and energize an entire block if those fences are touching," Assistant Fire Chief Mark Bogus said.
Officials said one person was pulled out unconscious and is in serious condition. A woman was also taken to the Tampa General Hospital for smoke inhalation and other injuries. Bogush said a good Samaritan helped pull that woman out of a window.
Several dogs were inside the home. At least two died in the fire.
WFTS-TV ABC 28 Tampa Bay
A 38-year-old was rushed to the hospital Monday after a ring cut off circulation to her hand, causing intense swelling.
Erika Simmons, a Crestview resident, was wearing a stainless steel ring, when her aunt, Terry Kemp, became concerned about her finger.
Kemp rushed her to the emergency room of North Okaloosa Medical Center.
The hospital did not have the correct tools to remove the ring because it was stainless steel, but the hospital suggested the Crestview Fire Department.
They arrived at Fire Station 3, near the emergency room about 9 p.m. Kemp said the firefighters did not have the correct equipment, a Dremel tool, so she went out and bought it.
In less than five minutes, firefighters cut the ring off.
Kemp said Simmon’s hand “was completely white” after the fire department took off the ring.
“They literally saved her finger,” Kemp said.
Crestview News Bulletin
“Inhale up over your head and straighten your front leg. Take a big breath, straighten your front leg. Exhale, back and looking over your front arm. Yeah,” Debby McClung said rhythmically. “Turn your palm up, let’s do that again. Inhale, rise. Exhale, down. Look over your front arm. Powerful posture.”
These aren’t words you expect to hear in a fire station. But such words of instruction and encouragement were heard often during a five-session yoga class, spanning five weeks, that was conducted at Longboat Key's north fire station.
Longboat Key firefighters pose during a yoga session Jan. 30.
McClung, the owner of Feel Good Yoga & Massage and a yoga instructor, and Sidney Turner, a psychologist and the founder of Resilient Retreat, teamed up to offer the class to some firefighters.
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Fire crews said the woman and two 11-year-old children were sleeping inside the home on Elsinore Avenue when the fire broke out Thursday morning.
Crews said about half the house was in flames when they arrived and the car port was almost completely burned. Smoke damage was also found inside the home, which officials said is not currently habitable.
While searching the home, firefighters also found the family’s dog and removed it from the burning home. The dog is expected to be OK, crews said.
Fire officials said there were no smoke detectors inside the home and if the woman hadn’t woken from the smell and gotten the children out, things could have been much worse.
The fire appears to have been accidental, officials said.
WKMG-TV CBS 6 Click Orlando
February, March, and April are often the driest months of the year in Southwest Florida.
Though this also makes up what many consider to be the nicest time of the year in our piece of paradise, it comes at a cost. Dry weather in Southwest Florida increases the threat of wildfires and that risk is highest during the stretch of months we're entering now.
With each so-called "fire season" that comes and goes, our office is often asked why firefighters intentionally set fires that people hear about on TV. These fires are referred to as controlled or prescribed burns because they are set for a purpose, and if everything goes to plan will remain within their predetermined boundaries.
The most important reason to the average Southwest Floridian at home why controlled or prescribed burns are set is a big one.
WBBH-TV NBC 2 Fort Myers