Firefighters find body of man in bedroom at apartment fire

Published April 4, 2007

SPRING HILL - The state Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of an apartment fire that left a man dead.

Spring Hill Fire Rescue firefighters found the body of a man thought to be in his late 50s or 60s while trying to contain a fire at a duplex at 4073 Jason Road at about 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The name and age of the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, will be released after his family is notified, said Jack Shireman, investigator with the state Fire Marshal's Office in Tampa.

"This case is still active," Shireman said Tuesday. "We've got to wait for the autopsy, lab reports and other things of that nature to come back."

When they arrived Monday evening, Spring Hill firefighters found the right side of the pale yellow duplex with light blue shutters fully engulfed in flames.

Located off Portillo Road, the duplex is near other similar structures and apartment complexes.

"We began knocking down the front and back of the structure, and then realized that there was a victim in a back bedroom," said Spring Hill District Chief Kevin Carroll.

Rescuers scooped the man up and carried him outside where they tried to revive him, Carroll said. But he was already dead.

Investigators have determined that the fire started in the living room outside of the kitchen of the two bedroom, one bath apartment. But the cause remains unclear.

All that remained Tuesday was the shell of the burnt apartment, melted shutters and a partly burnt tree in the front yard.

Though it sustained some water damage, the apartment next door was spared from the flames, Carroll said. The young couple and their two young children who live there were not at home when the blaze started.

Chandra Broadwater can be reached at cbroadwater@sptimes.com or 352 848-1432.