2-alarm fire leaves families homeless


Twenty people, including six children, are homeless after a two-alarm fire ripped through a building at the Cordova Apartments on North 22nd Street in Tampa.

 "My mom was shouting there's a fire, so we had to jump," said Mohammed Quorishi, who's eight years old.

Jannatul Juthy  and her two sons jumped off of a second floor balcony to escape the flames.

"It was big, it was coming to our door," said Juthy. "We could burn in it. We had to get out quickly."

 Her sons were uninjured, but Jannatul's husband says she has a broken bone in her back or midsection, but is expected to survive.

 "My house, everything is gone," said Zaved Quorishi. "Thank God my two sons are alive and my wife is alive."

Firefighters say unattended cooking caused the fire, but say it was confined to one building of eight units at the large complex.

While firefighters say several of the units may be refurbished, several others were gutted.

 "They're made of wood frame construction," said Corey Dierdorf off Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. "Which burns really hot, really fast, our crews in the area know about these apartments, they're familiar with them."

 It took a team of nearly fifty firefighters from a dozen trucks to battle the flames, which astonished neighbors who could only watch and hope.

 "It was like a bonfire," said neighbor Craig Smith. "Who could live in that fire? I'm just praying no one was in there."

 Ultimately, firefighters say two sweeps afterwards revealed no one was killed.

As eight families figure out what to do, the family of the only one injured is thankful they had the guts to jump.

 "I am thankful to God, God saved her life," said Quorishi.

 The Red Cross is helping the twenty people who are out of their homes.

Two dogs perished in the fire.

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