Fire rescue responds to late-night apartment fire

Authorities responded to an emergency fire in an Aqua Palms apartment Tuesday evening at 11 p.m.

Apartment 322 caught fire after a lit candle on the nightstand was placed near a bed comforter.

The fire from the comforter in resident Gloriana Montero’s bedroom caused the room to be engulfed in thick smoke and the fire ruined all of her belongings in the room except her laptop.  

Her roommate, Rebecca Valdes called fire rescue and said that they responded quickly. She was concerned of the whereabouts of her dog that was also in the apartment.

 “Fire rescue took 10 minutes to arrive,” she said. “I was more worried about my dog than anything else because the dog was running loose in the apartment.”

Once Montero noticed the smoke rising she pulled the alarm and the sprinklers in her bedroom put the fire out.

Christopher Montgomery, a resident who lives directly next to Montero in apartment 321 said that he knew there was an issue when the alarm rang because the smell of smoke was in the air.

 “When I heard the alarm I knew something was burning because I smelled smoke,” he said. “I also came down stairs to ask if they needed help but when I got inside I left because of all the smoke.”

It took fire rescue 15 minutes to remove the water from the floor and make sure the apartment was safe for the girls to enter to get their things.

None of the furniture was damaged because all the sprinklers did not go off only the sprinklers in the master bedroom. Officials said this may cause a problem in the future because it is protocol for all the sprinklers to go off in case the fire spreads.

After fire rescue removed most of the water Aqua Palms property manager called a drying service to bring fans to dry the floor.

Fire Lieutenant Mark Evans said, “I advise all residents to keep candles away from clothing and bedding to prevent accidents like this from happening.”

Both girls walked away with no injuries.