81 Year old Woman Dies in House Fire Son Injured Trying to Save his Mother

03/18/15



LOCATION: 2922 East 21st Avenue

DATE: 9/23/11, 10:20 p.m.

VICTIM: Gloria Smith, DOB: 8/21/30, B/F, 2922 East 21st Avenue, Tampa (died at the scene)

VICTIM: Gregory Polite, DOB: 6/1/53, B/M, 2922 East 21st Avenue, Tampa (Serious Condition at TGH)

VICTIM: Delicia Polite, DOB: 2/1/72, B/F, 2922 East 21st Street (uninjured)

VICTIM: Larry Bell, 4/23/03, B/M, 2922 East 21st Street (uninjured)

WITNESS: Jerry Haymon, DOB: 9/6/61, B/M, 2917 East 21st Avenue, Tampa (neighbor who helped fire victim)

WITNESS: Van Bryant, DOB: 10/1/55, B/M, 2917 East 21st Avenue, Tampa (neighbor who helped fire victim)

Tampa Fire Rescue has determined the victim accidentally started the fire by smoking on a couch in her mother in law suite at the rear of the home. Fire fighters found Gloria Smith on the bathroom floor. The medical examiner will determine if she died from smoke inhalation or from the actual fire. Her 58 year old son tried to reach the back bedroom to help his mother, but the fire was too intense. He suffered second degree burns and smoke inhalation. Gregory Polite made it to the front porch where two neighbors helped him to safety. He was transported to Tampa General Hospital's Burn Unit. Polite's wife and 8 year old stepson safely escaped the blaze. Flames destroyed the 1925 wood house.

Laura McElroy
TPD PIO
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