Dozens left homeless after fire rips through Altamonte Springs apartment building

Dozens left homeless after fire rips through Altamonte Springs apartment building

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — Two people were hospitalized and dozens were left homeless after a fire at an Altamonte Springs apartment complex Sunday morning.

Seminole County Fire Department crews responded to a fire alarm at the Central Park Apartments on One Center Blvd. around 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

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The first units were on scene within two minutes and arrived to find an active fire on the second floor of one building that had extended to the third floor, according to Chief Otto Drozd, III.

More than 60 firefighters responded, including crews from the Longwood, Lake Mary, and Maitland Fire Departments, who assisted in evacuating the building and putting out the flames.

Chief Drozd says several people were trapped in the building and brought to safety.

Matthew Carrera, who saw the fire as he was on his way to work, says he got to the scene even before firefighters, and did everything he could to alert the sleeping residents.

“My basic instinct was just to honk the horn close to 50 times, and after I did that, everybody woke up and started to get out of their apartments...I just kept screaming at the top of my lungs to get out, get out.”

Five people required medical treatment on scene. Two of them had to be taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries is unknown, according to Chief Drozd.

The three-alarm fire was brought under control by 11 a.m.

The Red Cross has been called to assist 52 residents of 36 units that were affected.