Residents left homeless after fire engulfs apartment in Belleview
BELLEVIEW, Fla.— A fire engulfed an apartment in Belleview Wednesday morning around 2:30.
Neighbors say they’re just glad everyone made it out of their apartments safely.
The next door neighbor says, “And I walked out of my apartment and saw the flames as they were just burning down the apartment beside me.”
This lady, who does not want to be identified, has been living at Woodside Apartments in Belleview for the past five years. She says she was sleeping around 2:30 this morning when the apartment next door to hers caught on fire.
The Next Door neighbor says, "My neighbor Doreen started banging on my door, actually screaming and banging to get up. And obviously I was sleeping so it took a minute for me to get up. When I did she kept saying get out there is a fire right next door."
James Lucas and the Marion County Fire Rescue crew made their way to scene, only minutes after the fire began. Once Lucas arrived, he pulled out his phone and began recording the firefighters as they began fighting the blaze.
James Lucas said," I came to find this apartment full engulfed in flames. Smoke and flames had vented through the roof. The occupants of this apartment made it out on his own accord, while the next door neighbor had to be escorted out of her apartment."
The next door neighbor says even though some of her belongings were damaged by the smoke she's thankful that she and her neighbors made it out safely.
The next door neighbor said, "You just stand there and think, what should I take with me because I don’t know when I’ll be back. So I just decided to leave everything because when the firefighters came in to get me, I couldn’t go back inside.”
Joe LaCognata said, “And in this particular case, two of the three people that were affected by this did have other places to stay. There is one gentleman that we assisted getting to a motel so he is for the night. A church in Leesburg is helping provide him with what he needs.”
The Florida State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating what caused this fire. The residents affected say their anticipating moving back into their apartments once they are rebuilt, but there is no word on when that will be.
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