Three people are dead after an early morning blaze Friday, April 16, in Inverness and one firefighter sustained a minor injury, according to a news release from Citrus County Fire Rescue.
The Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
“This fire investigation is open and ongoing and no additional details are available at this time,” said John O’Brien, a press secretary for the office of Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “The (Department of Financial Services) investigation focuses on the origin and cause of the fire incident.”
Sgt. Lee Carey, spokesman for the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, is assisting the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Next of kin notification is still pending on the victim’s, an 84-year-old male, a 79-year-old female and a second woman, whose age wasn’t immediately available, Carey said.
“It appears nothing suspicious at this time,” said Carey, noting the medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.
Crews dispatched at 4:46 a.m. Friday, April 16, to the report of a structure fire in the 1300 block of Stowe Street in Inverness.
The Inverness Fire Department arrived on scene first at 4:53 a.m. and advised smoke and flames showing from the rear of the structure and began extinguishing the fire. A crew from Floral City arrived on scene five minutes later and began assisting Inverness firefighters, the release stated.
Highlands’ crews arrived on scene and was tasked with the primary search of the structure. Four personnel entered the structure, extricating one patient from the interior, and then turned the patient over to Nature Coast EMS, the release stated.
During a second search of the structure, fire personnel found a second patient, who was removed and turned over to Nature Coast EMS. Another search by fire crews found a third patient, who was also removed from the house and turned over to Nature Coast EMS.
According to the report, all three patients succumbed to their injuries. Two died on scene and one was transported to an area hospital, where they were pronounced dead at the hospital. A small canine was found deceased inside the structure. There was one minor injury reported by personnel.
No further patients were found during searches.
The fire was called under control at 5:09 a.m., the release stated. Crews cleared the scene at 2:57 p.m.