A six-alarm fire engulfed a warehouse on Packinghouse Road and Palmer Boulevard in Sarasota early Friday morning.
Late into the afternoon, at least 20 firefighters were still putting out hotspots after getting the fire under control, according to Sarasota County.
The flame sent plumes of smoke across I-75. Florida Highway Patrol issued a travel advisory for the interstate due to the smoke. Officials shut off power to a surrounding grid of buildings temporarily during the response.
Heat continued to be a major concern when it came to the firefighters, fighting the flames for hours. Sarasota County had cooling stations standing by as firefighters worked in shifts.
Firefighters with Sarasota County Fire rescued a family of five who lived in a second-floor apartment close to the warehouse. The Dekoyer family, three adults and two kids, one of the adults pregnant, called 911 multiple times because their apartment door was stuck and hot.
"Firefighters came up and rescued us but the fire was everywhere. Eventually we had to just run past the fire with the kids covered in blankets as fast as we could," said Tasha Dekoyer, eight months pregnant.
Luckily, fire officials said their apartment was saved from the fire.
A group of musicians were composing inside the warehouse when the fire started. They say they heard what sounded like an explosion and barely made it out alive.
"I was blown away by a fireball," said Mark Hayeden. "I was blown out of my unit."
He said the fire spread quickly.
"I didn't have time to go get my keys and I didn't have time to go get my wallet," Hayden said. "I didn't have time to go grab anything. I had to run."
There were no reported injures.
The building, which fire officials said was a total loss, was home to multiple businesses.
The fire was under control as of 7:30 a.m.
The State Fire Marshal's office is now investigating the cause of the fire and Sarasota County officials said it could take several days to determine.