54. Four Persian cats die in DeLand-area house fire; married couple left homeless

Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
House fire in DeLand in 2014 kills four cats / Headline Surfer®Photos for Headline Surfer® /
Volusia County firefighters put out a house fire on Nov. 28, 2014, in the 2400 block of East New York Avenue.
 

DELAND, Fla. -- A DeLand-area house fire in late November left a married couple out shopping at the time homeless and the smoke inside killed their four Persian cats.

Neighbors called 9-1-1 just after 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 28, and Volusia County firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the living room of the two-story home in the 2400 block of East New York Avenue. But the house was too damaged for a married couple to remain there.

The fire that killed four cats cimes in at No. 54 in the HeadlineSurfer.com countdown of the top 100 local stories of 2014.

Ray Somerford said he and wife, Sharon, might not have made it out had they been sleeping instead of out shopping for the holidays. 

"I don't know that we could have gotten out of the bedrooms and down the stairs," the husband said.

Ray Somerford said he and wife, Sharon, might not have made it out had they been sleeping instead of out shopping for the holidays. "I don't know that we could have gotten out of the bedrooms and down the stairs," the husband said.

The fire left the Somerfords homeless and grieving for their four Persian cats that were killed by the thick smoke that quickly filled the home.

The cause of the fire was being investigated by the state Fire Marshal's Office, but was not considered suspicious, fire officials said.

Top 100 Countdown of 2014 / Headline Surfer®RECAP

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.