LEALMAN, Fla - A deadly fire ripped through a Lealman apartment complex on Tuesday, killing a 65-year-old woman. She is identified as Phyllis J. Wells.
Fire crews were called to Paradise Shores off 81st Street North around 2 p.m. It is an apartment complex for people ages 55 and older.
Firefighters were met with heavy smoke and fire but were able to put the blaze out in six minutes.
Inside a lower floor apartment, firefighters discovered the body of Wells. Wells shared the apartment with her elderly mother. Her mother was able to make it out to safety.
Two Good Samaritans who witnessed the fire ran over to the apartment to try and get people out. They were not successful. One of the men suffered smoke inhalation and is being treated at an area hospital.
"Driving by we saw heavy smoke coming up from the street," said James Skilling. "We just turned the corner and saw a lot of smoke coming up so we figured we better stop."
Skilling threw flower pots through the apartment's windows.
"Busted out all of the front windows. Tried to get in and couldn't get in anymore than halfway," he explained.
A total of three apartments were damaged.
Red Cross volunteers are trying to help displaced residents find a place to stay. In addition, a counselor is on hand to help Wells's mother cope with the tragedy.
As of now, fire crews do not know what sparked the fire but are saying it does not appear suspicious.
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