Fires Hit Two Gulfport Families

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The house on Newton Avenue is now boarded up; the fire is still under investigation, but officials believe it started on the front porch.

The house on Newton Avenue is now boarded up; the fire is still under investigation, but officials believe it started on the front porch.

Two separate house fires broke out in Gulfport over Memorial Day weekend, leaving both homes, for now, uninhabitable.

The first occurred just before 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, May 23, around the 4900 bock of Newton Ave. S. Three people were inside the house when it caught fire.

The flames started on the porch and spread from there. Firefighters went in and rescued five to six cats after all people had made it out safely. The evacuees spent the night at the Red Cross Shelter.

“There was a lot of smoke and fire damage,” said Chief Marenkovic, of the Gulfport Fire Department. “The cause is still under investigation.”

Chief Marenkovic went on to add that officials with the Gulfport Fire Department believe the fire’s beginnings were accidental in nature. Gulfport, St. Petersburg and South Pasadena Fire Departments all assisted in putting out the fire.

Local fire trucks respond to a house fire near Tomlinson Park, one of two in Gulfport over the holiday weekend. No one was injured in either event. Photo by Zachary Knight

Local fire trucks respond to a house fire near Tomlinson Park, one of two in Gulfport over the holiday weekend. No one was injured in either event. Photo by Zachary Knight

The next incident occurred on Monday, Memorial Day. A corner house overlooking the Tomlinson Park pond, on the 5400 block of 18th Ave. S., caught fire just before 2 p.m., possibly the result of a grease fire. Black char marks now show above windows where the fire escaped. A considerable hole consumes the roof. Firefighters put out the blaze before it spread to any surrounding structures, and the residents are safe.

Neighbors have been collecting donations of money and other items for the family, who have several small children and reportedly lost “everything” in the fire.

If you would like to help either family, contact the Maddy Guenther of the MY Foundation at 727- 656-2701.

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