Victim's Family Speaks About Fatal House Fire

UPDATE 1-17-2012 by Lanetra Bennett

The husband and son of a Tallahassee woman killed in a house fire are speaking out. They tell us she was 66-year-old Mary Scarborough.

Yesterday, WCTV was covering the scene when Billy Scarborough came home to find that his wife had died inside this home...

He was back here today, and WCTV me that he's had a lot of support from family, friends, and co-workers to get him through the tragedy.

"I still don't believe that she's gone."

Billy Scarborough says he and his wife, Mary, lived in this home for 16 years...

Monday, his 66-year old wife died in that home.

"I can't believe it. it hasn't really dawned on my hard enough yet. But, I haven't been sleeping yet. I'm trying, still hanging in there. I haven't eaten anything in a day or so. I ain't hungry. I don't have no appetite."

Scarborough did not want to show his face for the interview...

Tallahassee firefighters say they were called to the Hernando Drive home around 2:30 Monday afternoon...

Jeffrey Darby says firefighters found his mother's body near the side door...

He says she looked like she was trying to escape the fire.

Darby, victim's son. says, "The smoke rushed her lungs. She probably woke up and panicked. By her being kind of handicapped, she can't walk too fast; she probably panicked and fell and went backwards. The fire did get to her."

Darby says firefighters told him that the fire started with an outdoor plug on the front porch... He says it sparked a fire through the inside wall.

"I'm going to miss my mom."

No one else was home at the time of the fire. Firefighters say they are still investigating.

Mary Scarborough's funeral is Saturday at 3:00 at New Bethel A.M.E. Church on Blue Star Highway in Quincy.


Updated by Lanetra Bennett 1-17-2012 2:09pm

Billy Scarborough says it was his wife, Mary, who died in Monday's fire at 1512 Hernando Drive in Tallahassee.

Mary Scarborough was 66 years old.

The funeral is set for Saturday, January 21 at 3:00 p.m. at New Bethel A.M.E. Church in Quincy, FL on Highway 90.


UPDATE 1-16-2012 5:43 pm

House Fire in the 1500 Block of Hernando Drive
TFP Press Release

Tallahassee, FL -- This afternoon at 2:32pm, five units from the Tallahassee Fire Department responded to a reported house fire on Hernando Drive.

Firefighters found heavy fire in the front portion of the home and porch area. Firefighters quickly searched the residence and discovered one person dead inside the home.

The cause of the fire and the fatality is under investigation at this time.

No other injuries were reported during the incident. Damages are estimated at $50,000.


UPDATE 1-16-2012

Tallahassee, FL -- Tallahassee Fire Department officials say there has been a house fire on Hernando Drive that has left one woman dead.

It happened at a home on Hernando Drive this afternoon. Officials say an elderly woman was killed in the fire.

Her husband pulled up at the home while our cameras were rolling.
Family members and emergency officials had to try and hold him back from entering the home.

The man passed out and had to be worked on by paramedics.
Firefighters on scene are not commenting at this time as to what started the blaze.


Tallahassee, FL -- January 16, 2012

TFD says there has been a house fire on Hernando Drive with possibly one fatality. A reporter is headed to the scene. We will have more information as it becomes available.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Jan 18, 2012 at 02:10 AM
    Isn't anything private anymore? Now everything is Show time bummer its sad enough with out all the Media P.R.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2012 at 06:55 AM in reply to Surprise
      You're right, but there are so many people now that think this is the way to get their 15 minutes that they are willing to give up their privacy in exchange for any camera time. The reality T.V. shows have not helped either. Everyone wants to get on TV and have their life shown to anyone that will watch. You really can't blame the media because this is what generates their income. They have to give their viewers what they want(in order to generate income), and this seems to be what the viewers want. It's the media's fault is is "OUR" fault for wanting this type of coverage.
  • by ~teresa Location: Leon on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:59 PM
    This man needs his community family as well. We need to know if the house is repairable and a list of the construction materials, if so. He may also be in need of personal items, household goods, food and furniture. Please find out and report any requests. Tallahassee residents will step up and step in to help Mr. Scarborough. He needs time to grieve and he'll need our help. Let us know when he is ready.
  • by Rene on Jan 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM
    Prayers for the family that God will wrap his loving arms around you and comfort you during this difficult time. I know it's hard right now but one day you will have peace knowing that your loved one is watching over you. Peace be with you during this difficult time.
  • by tanya Location: midway,fla on Jan 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM
    my prays go out to the family during y"all loss.
  • by grace on Jan 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM
    If this were actually legitimate local news, I might commend WCTV for their coverage. Ambulance and fire truck chasing does not constitute appropriate news gathering. This man returned to his own home (NOT a public area) to be faced with the loss of his wife "as our cameras are rolling"...this is cheap, sensational, Jerry Springer-style "news". All decency in news reporting has apparently gone the way of Walter Cronkite. The American public has become obsessed with the "need to know", whether it's actually any of our business or not. This man's reaction to his wife's tragic death was none of our business.
    • reply
      by Rhonda on Jan 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM in reply to grace
      I agree!
  • by Mike on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM
    I agree with Eli that the primary concern should be for the tragedy of the event, not the editorial decision to run the footage. That being said, I think the decision to show the clip makes the emotional effect of the tragedy much more apparent to the viewer, more so than B-roll of fire trucks does. However, it does seem like in the first segment, it was displayed predominantly for sensationalism rather than to support a story. May God bless this family in their time of need.
  • by Sid Location: Quincy on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM
    Prayers to the family. Big bad 'no, no" to WCTV.
  • by April Location: Tallahassee on Jan 17, 2012 at 09:30 AM
    If It was me I would sue the "W" off of WCTV for crossing the line. This man had just found news of his wife's passing and the destruction of his home. This was morally inappropriate when it comes to respecting the family's personal and tragic lost.
  • by JustSomeone on Jan 17, 2012 at 08:56 AM
    I am so sorry. Please, everyone comfort this family in any way as best you can.
  • by Calvin Location: Tallahassee on Jan 17, 2012 at 02:26 AM
    My thoughts and prays go out to this family during there loss and this family will be in my prayers because I know how if feel to loss a love one and ppl need to stop talking trash about WCTV.
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