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Firefighters battle blaze for a second time at the same apartment community

Second fire in four months
Posted: 11:14 PM, Apr 28, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-28 23:14:38-04

For the second time in four months, firefighters responded to a fire at the Cordova Apartments in Tampa.

RELATED: French fries left frying on stove cause two-alarm fire at Tampa apartment complex

"We first heard this small pop and we just decided to ignore it," Carla Alberto said.

Alberto said a second loud noise caught her attention.

"We heard a louder explosion and it sounded like a pressure washer was going off," Alberto said.

She quickly realized it was something else.

"I look out my window and the AC unit was on fire," Alberto said.

The fire was right across the street from her building.

"There were two sheriff's and they just kind of directed everyone to step away," Alberto said.

She said they went door to door, warning other residents to evacuate. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said an electrical or mechanical failure of an AC unit started the fire, destroying 8 units.

"You could see the smoke like 10 minutes away," Latidra Smart said.

Friday's fire was the second one crews responded to at the Cordova Apartments. In December, an accidental fire left 20 people homeless after someone left french fries cooking on their stove.

"I had one other person tell me that there was a fire like earlier on and I was like wow. I wasn't aware of that," Alberto said.