BRADENTON -- A family of five was displaced just after 4 p.m. Wednesday by a fire at their home in the 600 block of 21st Street East in the Manatee Mobile Home Park, according to the Bradenton Fire Department.
Firefighters reported finding a fully involved structure fire. By 4:20 p.m., the fire appeared under control. "They're going to be displaced and Red Cross is helping them out," said Battalion Chief Steve Trompke from the scene. "The fire is under investigation."
Trompke was unable to state the cause of the fire, which may have been an electrical short.
Jessica Morales, a residents, said she and her younger sister were in their bedroom when the fire started.
"We plugged in our phone charger and, when we did, it caught a spark," the 18-year-old said. "We disconnected it but the lights had went out of our house."
Morales said they tried to turn the power back on and, when they returned, the outlet had caught fire. The fire grew too fast, she said, and they ran out of the home and called 911.
"It's hard," Morales said, her voice shaking.
Courtney Vega, who lives across the street, said she was arriving home from work when her husband called about a fire at their neighbors' home.
"We're actually really good friends with these people. They babysit our daughter sometimes," the 36-year-old said as she glanced at the charred house. "It's just sad to see."
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, contributed to this report.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.