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Firefighters find body during search of 12 apartments destroyed in overnight fire in Temple Terrace

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Posted at 12:46 PM, May 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 09:26:51-04

A fire shakes a Temple Terrace community. One person is dead. At least a dozen others left homeless.

For hours, fire crews carefully searched one of the three totaled buildings investigating reports someone went back into their flame-engulfed apartment. Right by the window of one of the units, they made the unfortunate discovery.

"Oh, that would be devastating," cried Keme Jenkins, speaking just an hour before crews discovered the body of an adult female.

The deceased was later identified as Tenecia Renee Brannon, 28, who was visiting a friend's apartment when the fire broke out. 

Jenkins and other neighbors at The Park at Monument Terrace Apartments, located at 11110 N. 56th Street,  prayed this would not be the outcome.

Jenkins was asleep when just before 3:00 a.m. someone woke her up.

"You could just hear someone yelling from the top of their voice 'Get out, get out!" She said.

Looking through her window, terror filled her veins.

"The entire center building in front of the car was boiling over with fire," she described, "The roof was peeling and all you could hear was crackling."

She took her mother and ran. In mere minutes, the flames gutted three buildings and 12 apartments. Outside was another worrisome situation.

Families held on a little tighter Sunday evening, feeling heartache at this outcome and a sense of gratitude toward fire crews.

“We thank them for doing the best they can and a lot of them seem like they are just physically exhausted," she said.

Fire crews report there is still a lot of work to be done to determine the cause of the fire.

One tenant who was evacuated set up a GoFundMe page to help herself and her mother after they were left homeless from the fire. Keme Jenkins said that "Red Cross was only able to offer assistance with motel shelter expenses for 3 days," and is hoping that the community will help them rebuild their life. To donate, click here.