TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman is dead and another is in critical condition after a fire engulfed a home in Tampa.
Crews responded to a fully involved fire in the 2000 block of 28th Ave. and saw flames coming out of the home’s entrance and the rear of the house.
Jason Penny of Tampa Fire Rescue said three people were inside the home at the time of the fire, but only two managed to escape. One was not hurt.
“There was one patient that was out in the street that was being looked after by a TPD officer,” says Penny. That woman was transported to Tampa General as a trauma alert. She’s currently listed in critical condition.
Although the fire department has not released the identities of everyone who was inside the home, Alexia Baker tells us her cousin Tiffany Walker, 40, died in the fire and Walker’s friend, Natasha Wallace was injured.
“I know she [Natasha] has been injured and she is going to need rehabilitation,” said Baker. “She is going to need help. She has children. That is the hardest thing,” Baker said. “The fire broke out while [Natasha] was there and she stepped in and instead of getting out herself she was trying to help Tiff get out of the house.”
Baker tells us Tiffany was battling cervical cancer.
“She was a fighter though. She was fighting, she was fighting. God knows she was fighting. We never expected anything like this to happen,” said Baker.
Now, four other family members, including two children, are without a home. They will be staying with Baker until they can find a new place to live.
“We need clothes, shoes, whatever the community can come together and raise,” says Baker. “We need to put them in housing, get them another place to stay. They lost everything. You can see the house is gutted out and there is nothing there that can be salvaged. Nothing.”
An arson task force has taken over the investigation, which is standard protocol whenever someone dies in a fire. They’re still trying to determine the exact cause of the fire.
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