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Home explosion kills 13 dogs, sends one person to Florida hospital

Posted at 8:54 PM, Aug 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 12:22:55-04

A house explosion killed 13 dogs and sent one man in Port Richey, Florida to the hospital with severe burns.

The explosion happened in Port Richey Sunday night.

Pasco Fire Rescue says two homes were charred in the explosion. A dad with two kids, ages 9 and 3, darted out of their home. Their next door neighbor rushed outside yelling "Pour some water on me!" His body was badly burned.

Fire investigators say neither home had their power turned on and were sharing a generator to power their electricity. During refueling of the generator in the home's garage, the generator exploded.

The explosion caused the house next door to catch fire as well.

The victim, male in his 40's, received burns over 40 percent of his body and was airlifted to a trauma center where
he is still in critical condition.

A dozen dogs died at the home. Originally firefighters said the homeowner was a dog breeder, but neighbors told Tampa-based WFTS the man simply loved dogs and owned several. Three dogs were saved from the blaze. Rachael Aquila, who rents the home next door, also lost her dog in the explosion. Her home was deemed unlivable too.

Two homes were damaged in the blaze. Firefighters feared more neighbors would have to evacuate, but they were able to keep the fire under control.

Investigators say that the cause of the fire was improper fueling of the generator.

No further injuries were reported.