JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Flames ripped through a Mandarin apartment complex Tuesday morning, sending three people to the hospital and leaving extensive damage.
The fire marshal was called to investigate the cause of the fire, which damaged 10 homes at The Park at Anzio apartment homes. The complex is located on Sunbeam Road, just eat of San Jose Boulevard.
Firefighters said several families were displaced, but it's unclear how many. The Red Cross is helping those impacted by the fire.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said the three people who were taken to the hospital have non-life-threatening injuries.
Firefighters said the first call came in at 4 a.m., and when crews arrived, six units were burning. Flames could be seen shooting from the roof of one building.
Firefighters quickly sounded a second alarm to bring in more help and 70 firefighters were eventually on the scene. A small section of westbound Sunbeam Road was shut down while the crews worked.
A woman said she was already awake when she heard strange sounds and realized people were knocking on her neighbors’ doors.
She lives in a back apartment that was not damaged. But her unit is close to the damaged ones so she was unsure if she would be able to go home.
“I heard a man screaming," Kimberly McKenna said. "Then I kept hearing the neighors’ doors getting pounded on. As soon as I got to the door, there’s a police officer who said, ‘Tthe building’s on fire. We need you to get out immediately.' So then I grabbed my son, that was the first thing I did. I yanked him out of bed and said, ‘We’ve got to get out!’”
McKenna said once she and her 15-year-old son got out of their apartment, they saw the firefighters bringing a woman out and laying her on the ground.
“My heart is breaking. I saw them bring one of the tenants out. My son was standing here, and it was very difficult explaining that to him," McKenna said.
McKenna fought back tears looking at the damage.
“Just how very blessed some of us really are. It’s humbling," she said.
Video posted to JFRD Twitter shows just how extensive the damage is from the air.