Residents escape apartment fire in Bradenton

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 12, 2014 

MANATEE -- Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire in a west Manatee apartment building late Friday morning.

Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue was called out Friday to the apartment building in the 4500 block of 67th Street West in Bradenton.

"When we arrived we found smoke coming from the eaves of the attic," Cedar Hammock Battalion Chief Mark Bandstra said. "The occupant was home at the time and trying to extinguish the fire."

Crews were able to extinguish the blaze, which was quickly contained to the apartment of origin, he said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but appears that it may have been electrical, he added.

American Red Cross has been contacted to assist the two residents, who have been displaced.

Melody Collins was just coming from the store when she realized there was a fire in her building.

"I smelled something, and I looked up and saw smoke rolling, coming from the roof," Collins said.

Collins then ran over to a crew from SMP contractors who were painting the building.

Mark Bouleris, one of the workers, said he hadn't smelled or seen any smoke from the front of the building where they were.

"It didn't smell like regular smoke," Collins said.

Collins said she saw the door of the unit lit up. She rushed her 17-year-old son out of their apartment.

"We started rushing to see where it was coming from," Bouleris said. "I ran back to turn off the power just in case." The fire department arrived quickly, he said.

"The way the wind was blowing east to west, nobody even smelled it," Bouleris said.Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitternote>

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