Three killed in Pine Hills apartment fire; Cause still unknown



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The state fire marshal's office is trying to figure out if an arsonist set fire to a Pine Hills apartment where three bodies were discovered.

The fire raced through a second-floor unit at the Misty Oaks apartments 3 a.m. Tuesday and neighbors said two of the victims were grade-school aged children.

Investigators with the state fire marshal said positive identification will likely require DNA evidence because the remains were so badly burned.

Investigators said the process could take weeks.

As for the cause, investigators sent debris samples to a lab and should know by next week if it was arson or an accident.

Some neighbors insisted the third victim was the children’s mother, but others at the scene of the fire who claimed to be relatives, said it wasn’t true

Orange County Sheriff's deputies were still in front of the burned building Wednesday morning, more than 24 hours after the fire started.
While people waited for hours to get back into their apartment homes, they tried to understand what happened.

"It's scary.  It is scary, very scary to wake up to that. And then to know that there are people in there," said resident Melanie Small.
Sheriff’s investigators said that two bodies had been found inside hours after the fire started.
Just before noon Tuesday they said a third victim had been located in the rubble.

Investigators are hoping a fourth person who was inside the apartment might know something. A man made it out of the unit and told crews two people were inside before collapsing from smoke inhalation
"I don't know how much he's been able to tell investigators at this time.  Hopefully he is cooperating so we can get to the bottom of this," said Ginette Rodriguez with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.