Florida

Florida mom ran back into burning apartment to save her children. None survived, cops say

FEMA fire prevention and safety awareness

FEMA Regional Administrator, Andrew Velasquez and Fire Commissioner for the city of Chicago, Jose Santiago discuss fire prevention and safety.
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FEMA Regional Administrator, Andrew Velasquez and Fire Commissioner for the city of Chicago, Jose Santiago discuss fire prevention and safety.

A Florida mother initially escaped a fire burning in her apartment building, but went back inside to rescue her two children. None of them made it out alive, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.

Crews responded to the Captiva Club Apartments in Town ‘n’ Country around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday where flames were coming from the roof, according to HIllsborough County Fire rescue.

Firefighters and deputies arrived at scene on Castaway Drive and saw the apartment building was quickly becoming engulfed in flames, Chronister said in a news conference live-streamed to the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

A mother and her two children died in the fire, Chronister said.

Another person living with the family told officials the woman made it outside when she noticed her children, 10 and 5 years old, did not. She went back into the burning apartment building to rescue them, but none of them made it out alive, according to Chronister.

Their bodies were found by firefighters searching the building after the flames were extinguished, according to FOX 13.

“I don’t even know how to comment. For a mother’s love to go back in and know her children may be inside, not knowing that they were inside but they may be inside and she lost her life because of it. Is there any greater actions of love?” Chronister told Spectrum Bay News 9.

The identities of those who died have not yet been released, as family members have not yet been notified.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

The Medical Examiner’s office will determine the official cause of death.

Though the cause is still unknown and under investigation, officials believe it started in a second-floor apartment, ABC Action News reported.

Chronister said 10 adults and 2 children were also displaced due to the fire, and the Red Cross was at the scene to assist them.

Eight apartments were damaged by the fire, smoke and water, fire rescue officials said.

It took about 45 for firefighters to get the fire under control according to the fire rescue news release.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials said they responded to fires at the same apartment complex in 2015 and 2018, Bay News 9 reported.

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