A building at the Twelve Oaks at Windermere apartment complex caught fire early this morning.
Two firefighters were injured this morning while putting out a raging fire at the Twelve Oaks at Windermere apartment complex near the northwest corner of Kirkman and Conroy roads
Orlando Fire Department District Chief Mike Stallings Jr. said the fire was called in at about 2:21 a.m. No civilians were hurt or killed in the fire, but two firefighters were transported to ORMC after one suffered from smoke inhalation and another had a roof collapse on top them, causing several burns.
The fire damaged 14 units in the apartment building, and at least 53 people have been displaced, said Stallings, adding that the fire is under investigation for arson.
“The biggest concern with a fire in this type of building is it’s a wood-frame building,” he said. “The attic is a common attic, which means if the fire gets up in the attic it’s going to spread. Our job as an aggressive interior firefighter force is to get the first line to the main body of fire and then get additional lines on either side of the fire and cut it off at the attic so it doesn’t spread throughout the attic.”
Stallings said the fire was contained approximately 40 minutes after the first alarm. The team that put out the flames was actually just engaging in a training exercise hours before for a similar fire situation when they got the call, he said.
“We don’t get fires like this too often,” Stallings said. “Actually today we’ve been doing some training at the fire academy – doing training with this same type of fire.
“These guys practiced their craft this morning and here we go a few hours later doing it for real.”
The American Red Cross has been on site providing aid to victims of the fire.
"Early Wednesday morning, a fire impacted one of our buildings, leaving some of our residents displaced and in need of temporary housing," read a statement from the apartment complex. "This has obviously been a stressful day for our community, but we have also been tremendously touched by the invaluable assistance provided by the American Red Cross of Central Florida and Hatching Hope. We cannot overstate how much we appreciate the help they are providing us in finding temporary housing for our displaced residents and for providing disaster relief kits. It's so comforting and inspiring to experience the helping hands of those around you."