St Pete fire crews walk away from potentially deadly fire - WFLA News Channel 8

St Pete fire crews walk away from potentially deadly fire

Posted: Updated:
St. Pete firefighters responded to this  home at 494 44th Avenue North. St. Pete firefighters responded to this home at 494 44th Avenue North.
ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue District Chief Timothy White knows his firefighters could’ve been seriously injured Sunday morning while responding to a fire at 494 44th Avenue North.

“The crews who initially arrived on scene saw a single family home, fully involved with fire,” said Chief White.

When crews typically arrive on a fire scene, they do a “360” or walk around the structure to examine what they’re dealing with. Before firefighters could do that Sunday, they were stopped.

“Immediately after getting on scene they begin to get word that there was an occupant or citizen on scene or in the back yard who had a fire arm,” said White.

“They didn't get any water on the fire at that point because the threat of the actual individual was the most important at that time. We had to move to a safer location,” added White.

Police tell us the homeowner, Paul Sibley set fire to the home and later threatened them with the gun. Sibley was shot by officers. He’s expected to be okay but is facing charges of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer and arson.

Related Content: Armed St Pete man shot by police after torching house

The threat left firefighters in a tough predicament.

“We were concerned about it spreading. A fire that size in a residential neighborhood with a tightly packed house, it was definitely a concern of fire spread,” said White.

“We were able to take protective positions close enough to begin applying water form a remote location, which is what directly stopped the spread to the other homes.”

White called Sunday mornings fire a “curveball” but he is thankful that his crews walked away from what could’ve been a deadly situation.

Copyright 2014 WFLA.  All rights reserved.

  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Baby cakes: 'Smash' trend taking 1-year-old parties by storm

    Baby cakes: 'Smash' trend taking 1-year-old parties by storm

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:23 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:23:30 GMT
    Legions of parents have embraced the smash cake, a birthday party feature in which brand-new 1-year-olds are served cakes to destroy — adorably — in front of friends and family.
    Legions of parents have embraced the smash cake, a birthday party feature in which brand-new 1-year-olds are served cakes to destroy — adorably — in front of friends and family.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • 4 - 5,000 attend Snooty's 66th birthday bash

    4 - 5,000 attend Snooty's 66th birthday bash

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:03:55 GMT
    Snooty’s 66th birthday “cake”  was made from cabbage, strawberries, pineapple, sweet potatoes and beets. South Florida Museum photoSnooty’s 66th birthday “cake” was made from cabbage, strawberries, pineapple, sweet potatoes and beets. South Florida Museum photo
    Imagine 4,000 people coming to your birthday party. That's about how many people showed up to celebrate the 66th birthday of Tampa Bay's beloved Snooty the manatee. 
    Imagine 4,000 people coming to your birthday party. That's about how many people showed up to celebrate the 66th birthday of Tampa Bay's beloved Snooty the manatee. 
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.