A 66-year-old veteran died in a condo fire Friday night in Pinellas County.
The fire occurred around 9 p.m. at Parkside Villas in Lealman. Officials said they first received a call about an explosion at one of the townhouses.
Crews said the home at 7233 Parkside Villas North was on fire when they arrived. Once fire crews made entry into the home, they found the victim, Anthony Sabino, unresponsive inside the residence.
Officials said Sabino died at the scene. No one else was inside the home at the time of the fire.
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One of the victim’s neighbor actually heard the explosion and ran outside to see what happened.
“He rode a bike. He smoked. As soon as I heard the explosion, I know he was a smoker — all I could think of was the oxygen tank,” Michelle Maieritsch said.
Fire officials said there were three oxygen tanks inside the home at the time of the fire, but they didn’t say if they played a role in the cause of the fire.
However, officials did learn that Sabino had sent text messages to a family member and made threats to hurt himself the day before.
Officials said the fire ended up affecting a total of five homes. Of the five homes affected, three of them have had their power shut off. One of them suffered fire damage, while two others have smoke damage.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is still working to determine the cause of the fire and the Medical Examiner’s Office is working to determine the cause of Sabino’s death.