Families lose everything in 12 unit apartment fire

TAMPA - Hillsborough County Fire Rescue investigators were working to determine the cause of an apartment fire on North Tampa that chased dozens of people from their homes.

Aaron Robinson shot video with his cell phone just seconds after he and his wife Denise escaped their burning condo building.

"I can't even believe it's happening, just even seeing our apartment now just down to studs. I don't know," said Denise.

As flames shot up to sky, the couple got out with their two dogs, Max and Stormy.

But their two cats are unaccounted for.

"It's disturbing to say the least. I said as soon as we got out, what went through my mind was at least we are alive. I made it out alive, my wife made it out alive. We got the dogs out. I can only hope the cats got out," said Aaron Robinson.

The fire started around 11 p.m. Tuesday at Renaissance Villas in a second floor unit.

But it quickly spread on the roof all the way down damaging 12 units in all.

Prince Bello returned to take a look inside at what was left of his home.

He says smoke, water and a collapsed ceiling destroyed all his possessions.

"My shoes, my clothes, my documents, my furniture. Everything," said Bello.

Aaron and Denise were able to stay with a relative Wednesday night. They don't even know who it was that woke them up.

"They just came and knocked on our door, they saved our lives. Whoever they are. Thank you. Because without you guys we would have still been sleeping in our bed and not knowing what was going on at all," said Denise.

While all the residents made it out ok, two deputies and two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

Print this article Back to Top