On Wednesday, the 7th of March, firefighters with the Orange County Fire and Rescue department responded to early morning reports of an apartment fire in Orlando. The call came in at close to 2:30 in the morning, and indicated that a fire was in progress at Twelve Oaks at Windermere, an apartment complex located close to Conroy Road and Kirkman Road.
When the emergency response crews arrived, they saw that the fire was raging and rapidly consuming all three floors of the building. Fortunately, the firefighters were quick in their response and able to safely evacuate all of the building’s 61 occupants; however two of the firefighters were injured during the rescue operation.
The report from Mike Stallings Jr., Orlando’s Fire District Chief, indicated that the two firefighters were injured at separate moments while battling the blaze. One of them, a 23-year veteran with the force, was inside of the building when a smoke explosion erupted nearby, filling the air with fire and causing first and second degree burns to the firefighter’s hands and face. She was taken to the hospital, but is expected to make a full recovery.
The second firefighter, a 5-year member of the force, was outside of the building when falling debris struck them on the head. While the crews were spraying water on the building, a chunk of the complex fell from the structure and almost landed directly onto one of the fire engines. Other firefighters in the area were able to jump to safety, but one of them was not able to flee in time and pieces of the building landed on the back of his head and neck.
Both of the injured firefighters were hospitalized, and it is believed that they are currently recovering without additional issues.
The fire itself was reported fully extinguished 40 minutes after the fire department arrived. At the time of this writing, investigators have determined that the fire was not the result of arson, although they have not yet speculated on the actual reasons for the blaze.
One of the reasons why the flames were able to spread so fast was that the apartment complex was built before fire codes required structures of this size to include a sprinkler system.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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