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Fire in closet displaces apartment residents

Press release from Gainesville Fire Rescue

Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) and Alachua County Fire Rescue responded to a reported multi-residential building fire at 225 SE 19th Place at approximately 5:22 p.m. on October 31. The 911 caller reported smoke inside their apartment on the third floor. All occupants were able to escape without injury.

Gainesville Fire Rescue crews arrived on the scene and quickly searched to ensure all persons had exited the structure. GFR unit E1 reported the sprinkler system had activated upon entering the third-floor apartment, and heavy smoke was visible inside. The sprinkler system inside the apartment contained the fire to the closet. GFR units Q1 and SQ1 were able to extinguish a small smothering fire in the back bedroom closet that the sprinklers could not penetrate. Crews remained on scene, checking in voided spaces for fire extension.

Due to the damage in the apartment, the residents were displaced and placed in temporary housing by Red Cross. Red Cross also assisted the residents on the first floor due to significant water damage inside their apartment. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Gainesville Fire Rescue would like to remind its citizens to check to ensure that all smoke detectors in their homes are working correctly. Also, if you are using portable home heating devices to heat your home this winter, please place them in a safe area and turn them off before going to bed at night.