Early morning condo fire displaces several families in South Fort Myers

CREATED Apr 2, 2014

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SOUTH FORT MYERS, Fla. – Several families are looking for a place to sleep tonight after an early morning condo fire displaced several families and forced fire crews to evacuate the entire complex.

Crews were hard at work for most of the day as they repair the damaged dealt by an early morning blaze.

Pots and bowls were used to collect water still dripping from sprinklers, which saved the building from being a total loss.

Ken Havelka lives below the apartment where the fire is said to have broken out, he says money is the first thing that comes to mind as he looks at the damage.

“I know we're insured, so there's nothing we can do about it,” said Havelka.

The fire at the Park Condo complex broke out shortly after 3.am.

Battalion Chief Barry Ashman with the Iona-McGregor Fire Department says a woman pulled a fire alarm at the building after smelling smoke in her condo unit on the third floor.

Shortly after, the entire building was evacuated.

“Well you just get out, you don’t think anything else – you just get out,” said one resident.

The unit where the fire started was ruled a total loss; the unit above was affected by smoke damage, and the two united below where fire started were badly damaged by water used to fight the fire.

Donna Allard lives in the apartment, above where the fire started, she says besides a minor burning smell, her home is okay.

On the other hand, Havelka’s condo is likely a total loss; a shocking thought that has some neighboring residents on edge.

"It makes me want to double check the stove before I go to bed,” said a man who lives in a neighboring complex.