Harbour Walk fire ignites resident fears

Fire is the second in two months

TOWN 'N' COUNTRY, Fla. - A three-alarm fire at the Harbour Walk Apartment complex in Town 'n' Country on Wednesday remains under investigation, but residents are concerned it may be related to a fire in the community just two months earlier.

"I thought, 'Oh, my God.'  I've never seen a fire in my whole life," said Jean Radlein, a resident since February.  "And we come to visit and we've seen two."

Radlein said after she found out the February fire was related to an electrical problem, she immediately became worried that the latest fire might be similar.  

Investigators haven't ruled on a cause of the latest fire, which broke out around midday on the second floor of a building and spread into the attic, which was connected to 14 units.  Six were a total loss.

When Ann Knight saw the flames burning down the adjacent building, thoughts of the first fire raced through her head.

"When there's a second fire within two months, it draws even more fear for us, for our pets," Knight said.  "We could lose everything we have in a few minutes."

Hillsborough County Code Enforcement said the Harbour Walk complex hasn't been cited for electrical problems based on complaints its received, but said anyone with concerns can file a complaint.

The link for the county's code enforcement complaint page is  http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?NID=104

The county wouldn't speculate whether the two fires are related until fire investigators rule on an official cause.

Still, residents like German Medina have had enough.  He rescued his brother's dog from the smoke from Wednesday's fire, and now plans to find somewhere else to live.

"I think it's a problem.  I'm getting ready to move out of here," Medina said.

"If it happens one time already, and it happens twice, maybe it's going to happen again," Medina said.  "I hope it never happens, but you never know."

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