House fire in Clearwater destroys family's home, Christmas presents

- It is going to be a Christmas to remember for a Clearwater family, but not because it is going to be especially merry. Their home on the 1400 block of Union Street was destroyed in a fire Monday morning.

The call about the blaze came in shortly after 7 a.m. Clearwater and Dunedin firefighters responded to the scene and evacuated nearby houses as a precaution.

The blaze was quickly brought under control and firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent properties, according to Clearwater Public Safety.

Authorities say one person was home at the time of the fire and was able to get out safely.

"It's unlivable," said Denita Johnson amid tears, who rents the house with her husband and son. 

The inside of the house is charred, and the roof has a gaping hole.

It appears that the blaze started in the master bedroom at the back of the house. Christmas presents, which were hidden under the bed, are now gone.

Johnson, an RN, was at work at a nearby hospital when she got a call a little after 7 am from her teen son Grant. He said to get home right away because the house was on fire. He was asleep when the blaze broke out. He awoke to the smell of smoke.

Her husband, who was out-of-state for work, is now on his way home .

About a dozen fire and rescue trucks blocked Union Street west of Highland for several hours as emergency workers battled to bring the fire under control.

By mid-morning investigators were still trying to figure out the cause.

Stay with FOX 13 as this story develops. 

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