Family loses everything in fire caused by Christmas lights

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Christmas lights are to blame for causing a fire early Thursday morning in Seminole Heights.

The flames were so intense, fire officials say the home was a total loss.

The fire even damaged a neighboring home and a handicapped van parked in the driveway.

Two adults made it out and were treated for minor injuries.

Investigators say the fire was caused by an outlet into which multiple cords were plugged.

”When you start attaching one after the other, called daisy-chaining, you can overload the circuit,” said Fire Investigation Supervisor Mike Zurla with Tampa Fire Rescue.

Fire officials say a quarter of the fires around the holidays are related to electrical failures.

“What we typically recommend is use a GCFI receptacle that way if there is a failure it will stop there at the plug,” Zurla said.

”My first reaction was stunned,” said Stephen Lytle.

Lytle heads up the South Seminole Heights Civic Association. 

He helped organize a fundraiser to help those families affected.

“Our neighborhood is always known for taking up an opportunity where we can help our neighbors and help our community,” he said. 

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to help the family may do so through the South Seminole Heights Civic Association's PayPal using the email address or send a check made out to the South Seminole Heights Civic Association (SSHCA) at P.O. Box 360371, Tampa, FL, 33763.