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Punta Gorda firefighters battle condominium fire

Punta Gorda fire
Posted at 4:29 PM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 06:01:01-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Punta Gorda firefighters battled a fire at Emerald Pointe Condominiums in the 25100 block of Marion Avenue on Wednesday.

Officials say eight units were destroyed in the fire and two boats. A Public Information Officer with Charlotte County Fire & EMS says the fire started on Wednesday around 2:20p.m.

Firefighters say two big factors in battling the blaze were the wind and the dry conditions.

Crews had to shuttle water from the community pool and bring in more water from off-site to help put out the flames.

Punta Gorda fire crews say they plan to be out throughout the night to put out hot spots.

No injuries have been reported.

John Szeliga lives in a unit close to the fire and described the horror of watching the flames build. He worried that they would also engulf his home.

“The sky was black, we didn’t know if it was going to make the jump across the little street there and get into the row that actually extends down into my unit," says Szeliga.

He and his wife also considered evacuating.

“My wife went home and was gathering personal items together and putting them in our car so if it reached the point where it could have reached our unit, then we would have had at least something ready to go.”

Courtesy: John Szeliga

The Red Cross has offered assistance to affected residents; a statement from the organization says some have refused the offer, but they will keep assistance on the table for anyone who decides they may need it.