Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
Nearly three dozen people at the Governor’s Manor apartment complex on L.B. McLeod Road are homeless Saturday after a fire caused a gaping hole in the roof.
“You can see what the damage has done. Flames shooting out the black hole. It was so hot we had to stand over there,” witness Billy Moore said.
One firefighter was working so hard to fight the blaze that he had to be taken to Florida Hospital South because of high blood pressure and hydration issues, but he’s expected to be fine.
The intense flames erupted just after noon on Saturday. The cause is believed to be accidental. A district chief told WFTV that perhaps a candle or unattended pot of water caused the flames in an upstairs unit. The flames spread to two other units which destroyed them. At least nine other units sustained fire or water damage.
“I lost everything,” resident Sarah Wheeler said.
Wheeler went back into her unit and realized nothing was left other than a laptop. She called the response by fire crews slow.
“Yeah, they could’ve done more. They didn’t put the fire out until after 30 minutes. Yeah, they could’ve done more,” Wheeler said.
The district chief told WFTV crews got to the scene within minutes and began the battle immediately.
Orlando fire investigators are trying to pinpoint the cause.