Family loses home and dogs in house fire

Tampa, Florida -- A horrible house fire leaves a family of six without a home and takes the lives of their two dogs.

A fire started on the porch of the McQueen family's home around 12:30 Wednesday morning.

"I saw smoke from inside my house and first I thought, I need to put that fire out, and then, no I thought, we need to get those kids out of there," said the next door neighbor, Jim McQueen, who is also the dad of the father, Jesse McQueen, who lives in the burned down home.

"My dad is the hero," said Jesse. "If he had not seen it then who knows where we'd all be."

Jesse heard his mom and dad banging on the doors and windows and then got his wife and four children up.

"I got them all outside just in time, then I went back upstairs to check around and I got trapped because I could not see back down stairs with all the smoke," said Jesse. "I had to break a window unit in my upstairs window to jump out. I cut my eye with some blinds just pushing them quickly out of the way and then I jumped out. I hurt my knee and my ankle but I will be ok. The only thing that matters is that my whole family got out, but our dogs, I am so upset about the dogs and the kids are too."

Hillsborough County rescue said they are still searching for the cause, for now it is undetermined. They demolished the home immediately afterwards because of safety. They worried family members might try to go inside to salvage some items and something might fall on them.

McQueen explained that the home did have a smoke detector, but he said that the batteries were likely dead.

The Red Cross is now helping the family.


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