Autistic boy, 8, severely burned in Zephyrhills house fire

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (WFLA) – An 8-year-old autistic boy suffered third- and fourth-degree burns Tuesday in a Zephyrhills apartment fire. The apartment is located at North Avenue and Village Walk in the Village Walk complex.

The boy’s stepfather, Nicholas Brown, said the fire started in the boy’s bedroom. Brown said he and his girlfriend had just sat down for dinner in the kitchen when they smelled a “strange, smokey smell” coming from the boy’s room. Brown said they ran to the room and pushed open the door to find a wall of flames. He said he held the door as his girlfriend pulled the boy out of the room and smothered him to put out the flames on his clothing.

Brown said he’s not sure what could have caused the fire because the boy didn’t have access to any matches. He said the flames could have come from the wiring of an outlet or a light fixture. Zephyrhills Fire Rescue is still investigating the official cause of the fire.

Zephyrhills house fire

The boy’s condition is unknown at this time. Neighboring apartments were not damaged in the fire. Check back to for any developments on this story. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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