Fire that destroyed 8 Orange Park apartments started in heating unit

No injuries, but 8 families burned out of Kings Tree Apartments

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Saturday evening's massive fire that destroyed eight units at an apartment complex on Kingsley Avenue started as an electrical malfunction in a heating and air conditioning units, the state fire marshal announced Monday.

Flames burned through the roof of  one building building of the Kings Tree Apartments.

No one was injured in the two-alarm fire that began just after 6 p.m. Orange Park and Jacksonville firefighters assisted the Clay County Fire Rescue in confining the fire to Building 4, although neighboring buildings were evacuated as a precaution. 

"They were sleeping and he ran over and knocked really loud to wake them up. He got smoke inhalation and they were able to get out with no shoes," said Corina Danielson, a friend of one of the fire victims. "Everything is gone."

John Ward, director of Clay County Emergency Management, said 15 people, three of them children, were burned out of their homes. The Red Cross was assisting those families.

Those evacuated from the nearby buildings were allowed to return to their apartments.

Vitaliy Cheraryavskiy said he wasn't home when the fire broke out and has yet to go inside his apartment. 

"I don’t know when I will be able to go in. I don’t know when they’ll allow me to go in," Cheraryavskiy said. "I didn’t sleep today."


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