On Saturday, July 1, at approximately 11:09 a.m., Ocala Fire Rescue’s Engines 1, 2, 3, and 5, Rescues 3 and 5, Tower 1, Battalion Chiefs 11 and 22, and a Safety Officer responded to reports of a structure fire at Berkeley Pointe Apartments, 2847 NE Seventh St.
As units traveled to the scene, Dispatch advised that the apartment building was filling with smoke and tenants were evacuating.
Engine 5 arrived to find a two-story, multi-family apartment building with a working fire in a first-floor unit. Smoke and flames were visible from the unit’s back-room window.
Crews were informed that a dog was inside the unit on fire.
Rescue 3 conducted a primary search, finding and retrieving the dog from the smoke-filled apartment, while Engine 3 secured a hydrant and Engine 5 attacked the fire.
Tower 1 searched the fire room and assessed the state of the second-floor unit directly above the apartment where the fire originated.
Engines 1 and 2 assisted with ventilation. Engine 2 was later assigned to search for hidden fire spots.
With hot spots addressed and the structure ventilated, the fire inspector could enter the area to identify the cause of the fire.
In speaking with the occupants of the fire unit, the inspector learned that one of the children in the home obtained a firework from a package purchased for a Fourth of July celebration and attempted to light it indoors.
Close supervision and fire education are critical in preventing curiosity from becoming a disaster. As a precaution, Ocala Fire Rescue reminds the public to keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children, up high, and preferably in a locked cabinet.
Four units sustained fire damages (the fire unit, adjacent first-floor units on either side, and the second-floor unit directly above the fire unit).
The Ocala Police Department, Marion County Fire Rescue’s Medic 60, a Chaplain, the Red Cross, Ocala Electric Utilities, and the Ocala Building Department also responded.