A space heater is blamed for the fire that destroyed the Savannah Avenue home of Mike, Meaghan and Milo Henderson early Thursday.
Scott Pearson of Stoney Creek, Ontario, was walking around Cypress Lakes north of Lakeland, where he was visiting his parents, when he saw an alligator biting into a man’s foot. He ran toward the man; his wife called 911; the gator let go; and Scott used his shirt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Victim George Ihle, 85, survived.
Retired Ledger sports writer and web editor Mike Cobb and his family were displaced from their home of 25 years at 1836 Michelle Lane after a fire destroyed its middle section. No humans were injured, but eight cats are feared dead and a dog is hanging on for life.
UPDATE: A rooftop fire at Mojo Federal downtown did so little damage early this morning that the restaurant and bar is planning to open at 12:30 p.m., just an hour and a half later than their usual Sunday opening. The fire, which started after closing, was confined to a small area around the base of a rooftop smokestack connected to the barbecue restaurant’s meat smoker. Some debris could be seen on a nearby patio this morning. The fire set off interior sprinklers, so workers this morning mopped up water. Crews from the Lakeland Fire Department’s nearby downtown headquarters responded quickly, according to Stuart Simm, owner of the neighboring Federal Bar. The pre-dawn photos below are by David Dickey Jr.:
A Kathleen Road mom who’s worried about kids has launched a campaign to remind drivers to halt when school buses display their stop signs. She’s captured video that shows that many drivers keep going.
Westbound traffic on I-4 was diverted onto State Road 33 after a tractor-trailer hauling sweet potatoes burst into flames just east of the U.S. 98 exit around 5:10 a.m. The driver, 62-year-old Steven Tillman of Orlando, discovered a mechanical issue and got out safely before the fire started. The traffic backup was complicated by a four-car collision on I-4 westbound near the Polk Parkway east entrance around 7 a.m. MORE: ABC Action Traffic live video | News Channel 8 video
Six Lakeland firefighters returned from Mexico Beach Wednesday night, and six more left Wednesday morning to replace them.