PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman is missing and feared dead after a hot, smokey fire gutted a home off Gulf Drive in New Port Richey.
“I was yelling. We were yelling for her, but there was just no way up there. The whole thing was on fire” said Wanda O’Donnell.
O’Donnell lives downstairs with her boyfriend, Marco Davis. The couple barely made it out of the inferno alive.
“It happened so fast. I just went out there and everything was in flames,” said Davis.
Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, Pasco Fire Rescue crews arrived from their station house one block away to find the home on Leisure Lane almost fully engulfed.
They called for extra help as they tried to fight the fire from the inside. The heat drove them out.
“During that time, the second floor completely collapsed onto the first floor. We still have one occupant that is unaccounted for,” said Fire Chief Shawn Whited.
In the chaotic scene, nobody could find the woman who lives upstairs or O’Donnell’s dog.
“I don’t know where my dog is. I can’t find him. We tried to get the dogs out. We got one dog out… I couldn’t get to Sherry. I tried,” said O’Donnell.
“People yelling and screaming, ‘get out, get out.’ Then she said ‘her dogs.’ I went back in,” said Davis.
The intense flames forced Davis to get out. Both are left with only the clothes they had on.
“Everything. Everything I have is in that. All I have left is the car,” said O’Donnell.
Fire investigators will sift through the charred debris, looking for what started this fire.
Part of their task will also be finding the missing woman.
The owner of the house was at the store when the fire broke out.
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