Dog Dies in Christmas Eve Fire

Cathy Salustri

A Christmas Eve fire with suspicious origins has left one dog dead.

On Christmas Eve, Gulfport firefighters answered a 7:20 p.m. call for a fire at 2007 54th Street South. The caller told 911 she saw “flames and smoke showing” from the south window of the triplex.

Gulfport Engine 17 was able to put out the fire, although St. Petersburg and South Pasadena firemen responded. Despite their efforts and emergency treatment, a dog inside the home later died from smoke inhalation.

“The fire is suspicious and is still under investigation,” Lead Detective Hanh Pham said. Gulfport Fire Investigator Frank Vento considers it a “possible arson.”

Gulfport police talked to a witness who saw someone at the scene of the fire.

“It’s kind of hard to say whether he had anything to do with it,” Fire Chief Jim Marenkovic said.

The Gabber will have more details on the investigation as police release them.