Two killed in Sarasota County fire

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office photo
Sarasota County Sheriff's Office photo

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Fire tore through a Sarasota home Tuesday afternoon, killing two people and sending another to the hospital.

The house, in the 3000 block of Sugar Lane, went up in flames in about 5 minutes, the Sarasota County fire chief said. Neighbors said the two people killed were a mother and father. The injured person is their son, neighbors said.

When they first arrived, firefighters had no idea anyone was inside. They then found the injured man. Crews had to knock down a wall to save that man.

“I’m being told that the victim was obese and we had a difficult time getting him out of the structure,” Chief Michael Regnier said.

Officials have not released the victims’ identities at this time.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It’s very sad to hear what happened to them,” neighbor John Garcia said.

The neighborhood is in shock. “I pray for them,” neighbor Sheila Lee said. “I feel sorry, sad situation.”

Neighbors said the family members mainly kept to themselves and didn’t come out of their house very often. “They were very quiet,” Abner Pires told News Channel 8.  “They stayed to themselves. They had health issues.”

Many arrived home Wednesday to see the tragedy unfolding. “Pulling in to see this is quite a reality shock,” Laura Adams.

Neighbors say the family may never have stood a chance. The home itself may have been a fire hazard, they said.

“Overly cluttered, I would say,” Garcia said. “They may have had a hard time maneuvering about in their home. There could have been so much more of a fire hazard already.”

Neighbors told News Channel 8 utility crews were working in the area Wednesday morning and into the afternoon. They said the power was off for some time, a power line was knocked to the ground, a transformer blew, and one neighbor even had surge protector blow up.

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