16 families lose homes in Orange Co. apartment fire



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - More than a dozen families are out of their homes night because of a fire at the Royal Palms Apartments on Oak Ridge Road, just before noon Monday.

Roshinin Romero and her five children, who range in age from 2 to 9 years old, escaped the fire. But the only things they had left behind following the blaze were their bicycles.

"I'm really blessed. I'm really blessed," said Romero.

Fire swept through the family's apartment Monday morning, quickly burning through the roof and forcing a full evacuation of sixteen units in the building.

More than 40 Orange County firefighters worked to keep the fire from spreading.

"Any time a fire does get up into the attic like that there is a great fear it's going to spread to other buildings," said John Mulhall of Orange County Fire Rescue.

"I'm glad that at least my children are alive," said Romero.

Three of the children were at school. The 2-year-old twins were with their mom at the swimming pool. Romero said she had no idea about what was happening until she got a phone call from a neighbor saying, 'Your apartment is on fire.'

"I was in shock. I really don't know. Total chaos," said Romero.

Romero said she rushed home to find her apartment gutted by the fire. Everything they had was gone.

"I'm really grateful. At least my kids are with me. That's just material stuff, but it still hurts. That's my kids' apartment. That's my home," said Romero.

The Red Cross is assisting the Romero family and others who go back to their apartments.

The state fire marshal is still working to determine the cause of the fire.

No one was injured in the fire.