Body found inside home after New Port Richey fire

By Tim Wronka, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 4:39 PM EDT

Authorities have found a body inside a New Port Richey home that caught fire Tuesday night.

  • Fire Tuesday evening at New Port Richey home
  • Authorities investigating the fire
  • House called 'hoarder house' by fire department

The gender of the body wasn't confirmed by investigators, but neighbors had previously said a woman had been trapped inside.

A fire broke out at the home on Leisure Lane, just west of U.S. Highway 19, just before 6 p.m. Tuesday. Crews from Pasco County Fire Rescue and New Port Richey Fire Rescue arrived moments later.

Firefighters said the two-story wood frame house became fully-involved quickly. The second floor of the home collapsed onto the first floor.

Witnesses say two people managed to get out of the home on their own after being trapped inside. But a woman didn't.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire. Also, questions are being asked about the home itself. 

Neighbors say the home was a drug house but no officials have said that. However, authorities did say officials have responded to the home multiple times on drug overdose calls. 

Investigators say it also appears the homeowners took in people that may have needed help - giving them rooms and letting them live at the home until they could get back on their feet. 

"The house is kind of like a hoarder house," said Shawn Whited with Pasco County Fire. "There‚Äôs a lot of stuff in there that has been just burnt.  There is a lot of stuff on the second floor that is now on the first floor so it is going to be a slow go in there today."

Investigators have not released of the woman. Witnesses said she was in the home at the time of the fire and no one saw her come out. 

A number of no trespassing signs were outside the home, including one that warned of dogs, attack cats and electronic monitoring. 

So far, fire rescue and the sheriff's office has not confirmed a cause or any details of what may have caused the fire.