NewsHillsborough County


Good Samaritan kicks in doors, saves residents as Tampa apartment complex goes up in flames

Posted at 10:04 PM, Apr 19, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — A fire broke out at the Captiva Club apartments Thursday night sending thick black smoke and flames shooting into the air.

“I heard two explosions the apartment unit on the end was already engulfed,” Phil Tolson said.  “A guy kicked in my door and told me to get the hell out of the building it’s on fire.”

Tolson was inside with his girlfriend, dog, and one of her friends. He said as soon as he got into the hall it was filled with thick black smoke. That Good Samaritan possibly saving his life.

“I told him ‘thank you’ and that’s all there is to it,” Tolson said.

According to the Hillsborough County Fire Department shift commander Donny Lynn a total of about 8 units were impacted. Six suffered fire damage and two others were damaged by smoke and water.

HCFR says that there are no reports of injuries to civilians or firefighters.

There is no word on what started the fire at this time.

According to records, this is the second fire at 4401 Club Captiva Drive.

ABC Action News covered another fire in October 2015 that destroyed an entire building at the apartment complex. Some residents who were victims of that fire and still live at this complex were in shock.

“This to me here brings back horrible memories, as to when we lost our home,” Mary Johnson said. “I feel so badly for those who are experiencing this now because I know exactly what they are going through. I am definitely looking into getting somewhere out of here because this is just too crazy two fires within a two year period.”

Management at the apartment complex would not comment and kicked reporters off the property.