More than 20 people were displaced from their homes after a building caught fire in the Harbour Pointe apartment complex Wednesday.
Crews were called to the scene around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the fire was under control about 20 minutes later, said Battalion Chief Doug Brett of Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue.
Brett said the fire started on the back side of Harbour Pointe’s building No. 7 and spread to the roof. A hole in the 16-unit building’s roof was visible as crews battled the blaze.
Building No. 7 suffered heavy fire damage, and seven other buildings were damaged by smoke and water. Damage was estimated at $250,000.
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There were 17 adults, four children and four pets displaced by the fire, according to Brett. The American Red Cross was contacted to aid those affected. No injuries were reported.
Gerry Snyder, a resident of Harbour Pointe, located at 4501 71st St. W. in West Manatee, said he had just woken up from a nap when someone told him to run outside because the building was on fire.
Snyder said he grabbed as many valuables as he could, including his cat, and ran outside. He’s lived there for two years, and now he isn’t sure what he will do.
Lee Reynolds, who lives in a Harbour Pointe building not affected by the fire, said he was relaxing by the pool when he saw flames “shooting out” of the building.
That’s when Reynolds, who is a former first responder in New York, and a few other residents grabbed nearby fire extinguishers and tried to keep the flames at bay until firefighters could arrive.
“The citizens came together to save the complex,” Reynolds said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Harbour Pointe officials declined to comment.
The citizens came together to save the complex.
Lee Reynolds, Harbour Pointe resident
City of Bradenton and West Manatee Fire District crews assisted at the scene. Six fire engines, one ladder truck and an ambulance from Manatee County EMS were on the property to assist.