A St. Petersburg mother, her five children, their dog and a family friend lost nearly everything Wednesday morning in a fire started by a candle, investigators said Wednesday.
According to St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue, the power to their home was cut off Tuesday.
Thirteen-year-old Deandre Dempsey told FOX 13 News the family used several candles for light.
He said he and his twin brother were outside the house when they noticed a lot of smoke.
Deandre ran back inside "...and I seen my sister's bed's in flames. The whole thing's on fire."
As smoke filled the home, the teenager awakened his mother and 2-year-old Kinjmagek Dempsey, who were sleeping in another room.
"It was hard," Deandre recalled. "Because I had to get my little brother out and I had to get my momma out because she was crying."
Then he ran to a hose bib outside his sister's bedroom.
"So I open the window and sprayed all the water over the room," he said.
April Dempsey was treated for smoke inhalation and released from Bayfront Medical Center. Her youngest son was treated at All Childrens Hospital.
Two 10-year-old twins were not at home at the time, nor was an adult female friend who was staying with the Dempseys.
Firefighters left a couple of blankets for Randy, the family dog. District Fire Chief Dean Adamides said the Red Cross is coordinating temporary shelter for the family.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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