MANATEE -- A fire that started in an air/heating system in a 12th floor condo on Gulf of Mexico Drive late Friday was quickly extinguished.
Longboat Key Fire Rescue along with Sarasota County Fire Department, West Manatee Fire Rescue, and Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue responded to a two-alarm fire at 11:26 p.m.. Friday at Sea Gate Condos, 2524 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
The fire was contained to the air/heating system within the apartment on the 12th floor, according to a Longboat Key Fire Rescue report.
Before firefighters left the scene at 1:15 a.m. Saturday, all smoke was sucked from the 12th floor hallway and the apartment, the report states.
There was no additional fire found within the building, the report adds.
The fire was at first hard to find for the first units that arrived, as no fire was showing.
However, residents were exiting the building.
Firefighters raced to the 12th and 13th floors, as well as the roof.
Firefighters finally found smoke in the hallway on the 12th floor but no fire.
After a thorough investigation, the fire was located in an apartment on the 12th floor. Forcible entry was made into six apartments to ensure there was no extension of smoke and fire.
Residents were "staged" in the community room located on the first floor until personnel declared the building safe for re-entry.
Many of the residents shared that they thought it was just another "false alarm" and were not going to evacuate.
They said, however, they knew something was wrong when the alarm was not silenced and no one came on the intercom.
The resident in the apartment that had the fire is the one who pulled the fire alarm, alerting all the residents, according to the report.
"Personnel did a great job with communication, tactics, and overall operations," the report states. "It is because of the consistent visit to the buildings for the annual fire inspections, pre-plans, training, the understanding of the Incident Management System, and the excellent working relationship with neighboring fire departments that this was a successful operation."
The maintenance personnel and property manager of the condo were on scene quickly and were instrumental in assisting the fire department with many aspects of the operation, according to the report.