1 dead in early morning apartment fire

- Authorities in Temple Terrace are investigating a fire at an apartment complex that killed a woman early Sunday morning. 

The fire broke out just before 3:00 a.m. at the Park at Monument Terrace apartment complex. Several residents were able to evacuate as firefighters arrived at the scene.

Officials said it took two hours to knock down the fire. 12 apartment units were involved in the fire, with several of them destroyed.

Hours later emergency officials say they found a woman’s body inside the unit where the fire started. Family members gathered at what was left of the home to comfort each other in their time of loss.

Stephen Rimer, who lost his apartment, thought everyone made it out when he evacuated. He was shocked to learn the news of his neighbor’s death.

“I didn’t expect that anyone hadn’t made it. I was saddened to find that.”

Resident Keme Jenkins was still shaken hours later from the bang on her door letter her know a fire was tearing through the complex.

“There is literally heat as if it’s daylight, but it’s morning,” said Jenkins.

There is no official word as to what caused the fire. Officials with the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office are assisting with the investigation.

The Red Cross is on scene to help those families who lost their homes.

The identity of the woman killed has not yet been released. 

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