Residents evacuated to hotel after fire at Calloway Cove Apartments

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After a large fire, dozens of residents at the Calloway Cove Apartments told News4Jax they were told to leave the complex and are staying at a Northside hotel.

Many of the residents said they were bused to the Travelodge Inn near the airport on Wednesday night. The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire that critically injured three children and a woman. Multiple sources have blamed the fire on a gas stove.

The News4Jax I-TEAM learned Thursday that TECO Energy, a gas service company, had been called multiple times to investigate gas lines at the apartment complex. The company said Thursday it had cut the gas off at the building that was burned in the fire.

Residents told News4Jax they were evacuated because of potential gas leaks in other buildings.

"You all might as well say it's a ticking time bomb. But, you all don't want to say that," said Michael Smith, a man who said he evacuated the complex.

"When the fire happened, I felt like they should have evacuated everybody," said Terell Hardeman, who is also staying at the Travelodge Inn.

When asked for comment Thursday about the potential gas leaks, a spokesperson for Millennia Housing Management, the property owner, said she could not comment because of an ongoing investigation.

It's unclear how long the residents will be staying at the hotel.

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