Tarpon Springs family trapped by fire escapes safely

- A Tarpon Springs family awoke to smoke and flames outside their second floor unit, prompting some to escape from a balcony.

The blaze started above Yia Yia's at 759 Dodecanese Boulevard around 10 p.m. Sunday night.

Fire burned through the only entrance to the upstairs space shared by 81-year-old Katherine Gray and her sons James and Bill Sankelson.

Workers from a nearby restaurant heard their screams and rushed to help. 

Some used their own ladders and hoses to assist the trapped family members who remained on the second floor balcony as smoke filled the upstairs space.

Tarpon Springs Firefighters arrived and took control of the situation.

Two Hellas Restaurant workers required medical treatment for injuries, including smoke inhalation and a cut. 

Thanks to the quick action of good Samaritans and Tarpon Springs firefighters, everyone inside the burning unit escaped safely.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

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