SHADY HILLS -Two children and three adults were hospitalized this morning after a fire destroyed a double-wide mobile home in Pasco County, just south of the Hernando County line.
Their injuries ranged from minor to severe, but all were in stable condition, said Andrew Fossa, training chief with Pasco Fire Rescue.
Two other adults were living in the mobile home at 18815 Old Shady Hills Road, but did not require hospitalization, although one of them had minor burns.
Officials say there also were nine pets in the house. One dog received third-degree burns, and eight other pets - six dogs and two cats - have not been found, officials say.
The cause is still unknown, but investigators with Pasco Fire Rescue and the state fire marshal's office were on the scene, Fossa said.
Some of the patients initially were transported to other hospitals, but all were eventually taken to Tampa General Hospital, Fossa said. A family member, Jamie Smiley, 38, identified the adults as his grandfather Kenneth Perry, 80; his mother, Edith Taylor, 61; and his stepfather, Ernest Taylor, 63.
Smiley said the children, ages 5 and 6, are his nephews, but he declined to give their names. They are the children of his sister, Tammie Ledbetter, and her husband, Jesse Ledbetter, the other two adults who lived in the mobile home, he said.
Pasco Fire Rescue responded to a call about the fire at 6:39 a.m., and officials say the fire was under control just before 8 a.m.
All of the family members were in bed when the fire started, Smiley said, but managed to get out of the mobile home, although some of them suffered burns or smoke inhalation in the process.
A tall fence that surrounded the mobile home was locked, initially keeping them from getting a safe distance from the burning structure, but Jesse Ledbetter jumped in his truck and rammed it through the fence so they could escape, Smiley said.
He said his sister called him and he rushed to the scene, where firefighters were already battling the blaze. His sister had burns, but did not want to go to the hospital, Smiley said.
Smiley said his mother uses an oxygen tank to help her breathe because she has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
"Now all of her machines are gone," he said. "We need to get her a new machine before she gets out of the hospital."
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