20 people displaced after fire at Pasco County apartment building


ODESSA, Fla. (WFLA) — Pasco County firefighters battled a two-alarm fire at an Odessa apartment complex that broke out Tuesday around 4:15 p.m.

Pasco Fire Rescue said the fire happened at the Tuscano at Suncoast Crossings.

Authorities said a total of 20 people were evacuated and displaced from the building. All were accounted for and there were no reported injuries.

Lightning is believed to be the cause of the fire.

Video of the fire provided by first responders showed flames visible on the building’s roof.

Israel Lopez says he heard a boom a felt the apartment shake Tuesday.

“I was a little scared,” Lopez said. “I felt something hit and the bedroom trembled — boom.”

He was home with his son. They didn’t see or smell anything, but 15 minutes later, a Pasco County firefighter was knocking at his door.

“They said you have to leave the building because there is a fire in the roof in your area,” Lopez said.

Lopez found out later, firefighters had to make a hole through his living room to try and put the fire out.

“The most damaged apartment was mine,” Lopez said. “Of course, I was worried because the fire was over the roof, oh my God, my stuff.”

20 people, including Lopez and his family, are now wondering what’s going to happen next.

Pasco County fire officials believe the fire was smoldering for a while before someone saw the flames come through the attic. It’s the second day in a row where lightning hit an apartment in the area.

“The amount of fire damage we’re seeing on these units might not be direct impact but it’s going to be smoke and a lot of water because it’s coming down through the ceiling,” Pasco County Fire Rescue PIO Corey Dierdorff said.

Lopez doesn’t know what the immediate future holds, but he’s thankful, because he knows everything happens for a reason.

“I thank God because the life is more important than the stuff and everything can be replaceable,” Lopez said.

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