A Key Peninsula firefighter suffered dehydration this morning while battling a house fire, and two pets were killed before crews doused the flames.
The blaze was reported at 11:10 a.m. at a home on 195th Avenue (Key Peninsula South). A single firefighter arrived 12 minutes later and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves. He also spotted flames in the living room, according to the Key Peninsula Fire Department.
Three more firefighters arrived at 11:24 a.m. and began trying to suppress the blaze. It took nearly 20 minutes for neighboring fire districts to arrive and assist.
The home is considered a total loss, fire officials said.
Fire Chief Tom Lique said this is the third fire in three weeks that the agency hasn’t been able to fight properly due to a personnel shortage.
The Board of Fire Commissioners is considering putting a levy on the November ballot to fund eight new firefighter positions. The levy would cost the owner of a $225,000 home an extra $7.70 each month, the department said.
A 6 p.m. meeting will be held May 22 at the Key Center Fire Station, 8911 Key Peninsula Highway North, Lakebay, to discuss the matter.