LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - Dozens of residents of Arbor Glen Apartments in North Lakeland, Florida came back Tuesday to see the damage caused by a fire the night before.
Those residents were suddenly left without a place to live after a fire in the attic, and the water from the subsequent fire-fighting effort, caused significant damage to the 24-unit building.
Fire officials say the weight of the water caused three floors to collapse on the north end of the building.
“Just thinking that I have to start over from scratch,” said David Fritz-Gordon as he stood and gazed at his apartment, stopping to consider his situation. “Literally, what I have on right now is everything I own.”
The complex requires all renters to have insurance, so tenants should be reimbursed for losing their belongings, but they may have lost their most precious keepsakes.
Fritz-Gordon wondered if pictures of his mom had somehow survived.
“I am still speechless,” he told FOX 13. “I would never in a million years have expected this.”
Fritz-Gordon is staying with his brother. The Red Cross is helping others find temporary housing.
It will be several days before anyone is allowed back in the building.
“Until it’s made structurally safe, we’re not going to allow anyone back in,” Lakeland Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Rick Hartzog said. “It’s just not worth taking a chance of someone getting hurt or losing their life.”
None of the residents were hurt. However, several were still looking for their missing pets on Tuesday.
Investigators said Tuesday evening the cause of the fire seemed to be electrical.