Nearly 20 people displaced after Tampa apartment fire

Image 1 of 3

An apartment fire in Tampa left 19 people displaced – including seven children.

The fire occurred around 5 a.m. Monday at the Pebblewood Apartments on North 52nd Street.

When Tampa firefighters arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from an upstairs apartment.

Inside, 26-year-old mother Alexis Monlin had to act quickly to get her kids out.

"When I looked out of the room, it looked like the whole side of the couch and the curtains was on fire next to the door," Monlin said. "I smelled something, and when I opened the door, the room was all orange. It was just flames."

Neighbors had to scramble to get out, too.

"Someone was beating my door down, saying ‘A fire! a fire!' So I grabbed my son, the 2- year-old, and yelled ‘Get on out. Let's go!'" neighbor Tina Edwards said.

After she was outside out and had her wits about her, she tried to help save others.

"Just knocked on their doors saying, ‘Come on! Get your children out! Get everybody out,'" Edwards said.

Four units were impacted. Investigators said it appears the fire was ignited by a malfunction of a toy motorized car. 

The damage is estimated to be around $40,000. There were no reported injuries.