National News

Home explosion kills 13 dogs, sends one person to the hospital

Posted August 21

— A house explosion killed 13 dogs and sent one man in Port Richey to the hospital with severe burns.

The explosion happened at 8705 Velvet Drive in Port Richey Sunday night.

Pasco Fire Rescue says two homes were charred in the explosion. A dad with two kids, ages 9 and 3, darted out of their home. Their next door neighbor rushed outside yelling "Pour some water on me!" His body was badly burned.

Fire investigators say neither home had their power turned on and were sharing a generator to power their electricity. During refueling of the generator in the home's garage, the generator exploded.

The explosion caused the house next door, at 8711 Velvet Drive, to catch fire as well.

The victim, male in his 40's, received burns over 40% of his body and was airlifted to a trauma center where

he is still in critical condition.

12 dogs died at the home at 8652 Velvet Drive. Originally firefighters said the homeowner was a dog breeder, but neighbors tell ABC Action News the man simply loved dogs and owned several. 3 dogs were saved from the blaze. Rachael Aquila, who rents the home next door, also lost her dog in the explosion. Her home was deemed unlivable too.

Two homes were damaged in the blaze. Firefighters feared more neighbors would have to evacuate, but they were able to keep the fire under control.

Investigators say that the cause of the fire was improper fueling of the generator.

No further injuries were reported. The Red Cross assisted the family at 8711 Velvet Drive.

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