SANFORD, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - One man is dead after a home near Sanford went up in flames, and the victim’s family thinks it was an attempt to beat the cold weather that lead to the tragedy.
At about 4 a.m. Wednesday, Seminole County firefighters responded to the fire in the 1200 block of Airport Boulevard, after receiving multiple 911 calls. Crews said the house was fully involved by the time they arrived on scene.
Along with one man being injured and having to go to the hospital, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said 56-year-old Todd K. Fillinger didn’t make it out of the home and died on scene. Fillinger’s daughter, grandkids, and several other family members were at the home Wednesday afternoon mourning the loss.
"Devastated. Heartbroken. I'm just going to miss him,” said daughter Linsey. "He might have like went unconscious and couldn't get out, but he couldn't walk that well so I don't think he coulda’ gotten out anyway."
The family said Fillinger was an avid fisherman and a loving father. Linsey and family believe it was her dad trying to get through the cold night that lead to the fire though.
"The electrical system wasn't very good and he had a space heater next to the bed and I believe that's what caused the fire,” she said.
Investigators with Seminole County Fire and Rescue said the fire appears accidental, though they are still investigating the exact cause. They said one other person was injured in the fire and had to go to a local hospital. Four other people staying at the home are being assisted by the Red Cross.