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Four Adults, 18 Children Homeless After Ocala Apartment Fire

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April 01, 2023 | FLORIDA OCALA FIRE RESCUE, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

(OCALA, FL.) April 1, 2023 – On Saturday, April 1, at approximately 7:49 p.m., Ocala Fire Rescue received reports of a residential structure fire at The Morgan apartment complex, 1421 SW 27th Ave. Engines 3, 4, and 7, Rescue 4, Squad 7, Battalion Chief 11, and a Safety officer were dispatched to the scene. 

Upon arrival, units encountered smoke and flames showing from the front and rear of a second-story, westmost unit in building 400. Learning of a possible entrapment in the adjoining second-floor unit, Battalion Chief (BC) 11 upgraded the incident response to include Engine 1 and BC 22, as well as Marion County Fire Rescue's (MCFR) Ladder 3, Medics 60 and 65, and Divisions 1 and 2. 

The scene was divided into two sectors, allowing BC 11 to focus on the front of the building while BC 22 and MCFR's Divisions 1 and 2 monitored changes to the rear. 

Engine 4 entered through the second-floor unit's front door - spraying water on the fire within two minutes of arrival - while Engine 3 cleared the neighboring unit where two minors were thought to be entrapped.

Engine 1 stretched additional hose lines toward the rear of the building, beginning a fire attack targeting the flames on the porch from the exterior. 

Squad 7 completed a primary search of the apartment beneath the fire unit.

MCFR's Ladder 3 provided a report ensuring the fire did not compromise the roof's integrity.

Engine 7 secured a second water source and assisted with the fire attack.

The fire was knocked down by 8:02 p.m.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

As a result of the fire, smoke, and water damage, four units (the fire unit, the two units underneath, and the one beside it) were deemed uninhabitable, leaving four adults and 18 children without a home. 

Requests for assistance on behalf of each of the four families to the American Red Cross are underway.

The Ocala Police Department, Ocala Electric Utility, Marion County Fire Rescue's ALS 1, a Building Inspector, and a Chaplain also responded.

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