In an instant, a family's life was turned upside down.
A fire tore through Jesse and Tammie Ledbetter's Spring Hill home off Old Shady Hills Road on Friday morning, but that was just the beginning.
"This is a family that has already lost everything that they own,"
said Jamie Smiley.
Now, they're losing even more. Smiley, Tammie's brother, explained.
"They're trying to take away their children, the only thing they have left to give love to and care about, besides their mother and father," he said.
The family showed FOX 13 paperwork from Pasco child protective services.
It states Jessie and Tammie were not home when the fire broke out.
They say that's not true.
"I woke up and I smelt fire; I told everyone to get up," Tammie
The papers say the fire wasn't the only danger to the kids.
The letter alleges medical neglect, malnutrition and bodily harm. Jesse said
there's good reason why his sons have bruises.
"The only reason why my kids have marks on them is from me yanking them through the window to save their life," Jesse Ledbetter told us.
We wanted to know more about the accusations, but the sheriff's office could not comment. The paperwork shows this isn't the Ledbetters' first time in this fight.
They have had four kids removed from their care in the past.
They insist their special needs boys are getting proper care.
"They go to therapy. They go to doctors and everything," Tammie said.
As devastating as the fire was, they say losing their sons is an even bigger blow.
"All I want is my children and my family back home; it's like I lost my home and everything else happens," Tammie said, with tears in her eyes.
The family plans to attend a hearing Monday to fight for their kids. The couple's mother and father are at Tampa General Hospital from their injuries suffered in the fire.
It's not known what started it, but investigators have ruled out anything suspicious.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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