(Brooksville, FL) at 3:03 p.m. this afternoon Hernando County Fire Rescue (HCFR) responded to reports of a barn on fire. The fire was located in a rural area of Hernando County at 33031 Ranch Rd, Dade City, FL. Initial reports of explosions and the fire spreading to the nearby residence. Fire crews arrived on scene and found a fully involved barn. Crews quickly performed a search of the residence and confirmed that all occupants were out and accounted for. Fire crews extinguished the barn fire and were able to keep fire damage to the home to minimal exterior damage.
The resident of the home did attempt to extinguish the fire and save some of his farm animals prior to the fire departments arrival. Due to the intensity of the fire he was pushed back and did sustain injuries from the fire. Due to the nature of the injuries the patient was flown to the Burn Center at Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.
Unfortunately, several farm animals did perish in the barn fire. Fire crews, in consultation with the Florida Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, have determined that the cause of the fire was a space heater being used for heating in the barn. HCFR initially responded with 3 fire engines, 1 water tanker, 2 rescues and 2 battalion chiefs for a total of 15 personnel. HCFR would like to remind the community that if space heaters are being used, to do so with supervision and per the manufacturers safety recommendations.