HUDSON, Fla. — Strong winds early Monday helped spread flames that destroyed two homes and left one person injured.
According to Pasco Fire Rescue, crews were called out to the scene on Driftwood Drive at 6 a.m.
When crews arrived, they found flames engulfing two homes and winds whipping flames into others.
"Crews quickly realized what we had and called for a third alarm," said Corey Dierdorff with Pasco Fire Rescue. "It was very chaotic, these homes are close together and water was not readily available.
"(And) we had a line burst while we were out here so that presented extra challenges."
Thirty units responded and close to 80 firefighters from Pasco, Hernando and New Port Richey responded.
With the homes lining canals in the neighborhood, firefighters also were staged on both sides of the canal to combat embers blowing across the water and threatening even more homes.
A neighbor described the scene as "just one big, huge wall of flames."
One person was seriously injured and flown to Tampa General Hospital.
The people inside the home were identified as Ron Alward and Dr. Mercedes Lopez, and they’re in their 80s.
They escaped with their two dogs and the clothes on their back. Mercedes's' granddaughter says she is mainly upset about losing her wedding rings, which were left behind in the fire. The family has started a GoFundMe for them.
They have insurance, but they’re not sure what the deductible is going to be. They also need everything - new car, clothes and toiletries.
Brittany Galvin, their granddaughter, said: “It’s very important to know they’ve both been quarantining since March, so they haven’t left their house basically since March. So, doing anything, taking them anywhere to get anything is a pretty big struggle.”
Crews remained on scene to monitor additional hot spots.
The fire is under investigation.
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