Florida landscaping expert dies in house fire
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida man known to his neighbors for the extensive landscaping around his home has died in a house fire.
The Tampa Bay Times reports crews responded to 66-year-old John Starnes Jr.’s home in Tampa’s Ballast Point neighborhood early Tuesday morning.
Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny says firefighters were initially hindered by what appeared to be a live utility wire sagging and sparking in front of the house. Officials say the property filled with plants and other possessions also posed a challenge for firefighters trying to maneuver to attack the flames.
Once the fire was knocked down, rescue workers found Starnes’ body in a bathroom.
Starnes was a rose breeder and former landscaping expert. He shared his expertise at gardening for years in regular features for what was then the St. Petersburg Times.
Information from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com