BRANDON -- A 32-year-old man is dead following a serious late night house fire on Ross Avenue on Friday.
The single-detached house was fully engulfed when emergency crew arrived after receiving a call at 11 p.m.
There were four people in the house when the fire started, and smoke was reportedly coming from the lower floor where a couch was on fire.
Fruitless attempts to extinguish the couch fire were made before three of the four residents fled outside.
The fourth occupant did not escape the basement with the others, and remained unaccounted for as the on-scene investigation continued.
According to Brandon Fire Department Captain Kevin Groff, there were large flames and heavy smoke billowing from the home when firefighters arrived at the 500 block of Ross Avenue.
The fire caused roughly $300,000 worth of damage to the home, which includes about $50,000 worth of damage to content.
After more than 11 firefighters battled the flames for three hours, investigators were able to enter the building to find the man dead on the main level of the house as a result of smoke inhalation.
Officials were on scene until around 6 a.m. looking for hot spots and flare-ups.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, and the office of the fire commissioner continue to investigate.
-- The Brandon Sun