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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefighters fought the blaze with a water tender

TAMPA — A house in rural Odessa burned to the ground Tuesday evening as firefighters scrambled to find a source of water to help fight the blaze.

No one was home at 19502 Pine Valley Drive at the time of the fire, but two dogs and two cats perished in the blaze, said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Capt. Bruce Delk.

Firefighters arrived at the house at 6:16 p.m. to find flames shooting through the roof and the house already largely engulfed in flames, Delk said. To make matters worse, the closest fire hydrant was nearly a half-mile away, he said.

The first fire crews fought the blaze with a water tender while other firefighters uncoiled more than 2,000 feet of hose to reach the hydrant. Eight units responded to the blaze, with 24 firefighters on scene.

A motor home and a detached garage were saved, though the house itself was a total loss, Delk said.

"The only things that were left standing were the outside walls," he said. "The inside was totally devastated."

The one-story house, a 2,120-square-foot, single-family home with three bedrooms, was built in 1987, according to county records. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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