Five escape Tampa house fire

Tampa, Florida -- A house fire in Tampa is under control after hours of work from fire rescue teams.

The good news: five people that were inside at the time got out safely.

It was a very dangerous situation on the ground here for firefighters who had o pull back to a defensive position to fight the flames.

"Hot, blazing fire. Fireballs shooting up in the air," Fern Romulus said as he described what he saw coming out of his neighbor's house on East North Bay Street early this morning.

"There was like, the explosions coming out, two or three from the house and one right here," he said pointing to the transformer above his head.

Romulus said he the called 911 after seeing massive flames coming out of his neighbor's home.

"My neighbor come knock on my door 'please call 911 there's a fire by the house' so I ran to make sure all the kids were out," Romulus added

Those kids, a 3-year-old and an 8-month-old got out safely along with a man and two women who were inside.

Tampa Fire Rescue teams got to the house at about 6:15 a.m.

"So they fought it for about 10 minutes and then they decided to pull all the firefighters out and fight defensively from the outside," said Tampa Fire Rescue public information officer Jason Penny.

But those firefighters faced some challenges.

"There's a lot of debris in the back yard, so when stuff started really going, the flames got even bigger from the inside."

Firefighters were able to douse the flames on the east end of the house, before they could spread to any neighboring homes. Sky 10 video showed those flames bursting out of the top of the house, a smoke trail you could see from miles away.

"That's devastating," Romulus said about his neighbor's situation. "That's not good for anybody to go through."

Devastating for one family, but it's a family that left alive.

"Fortunately everybody got out, but that just shows the importance of everyone having a working smoke detector in their home," Penny said.


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