1. #1
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    Post Davie Fla---Condo Fire Displaces 10

    Miami Herald

    Davie condo fire displaces 10 residents

    A fire at a Davie condominium complex forced 10 people to find temporary places to live Sunday.

    The blaze began about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in a bedroom at Arrowhead Townhouses, 1850 SW 81st Ave.

    State fire marshal's investigators were trying to determine the cause of the fire. No one was injured.

    Davie Fire Rescue spokesman Brian Nolte said residents saw the flames and called 911. By the time 20 firefighters arrived, electrical service to the building was destroyed and the structure suffered smoke damage.

    Residents will have to live elsewhere for at least a week while investigators determine whether the building is safe. The Red Cross was helping them find shelter, said Nolte.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  2. #2
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    Post 3rd Time

    Fire strikes Davie condo for third time in one week

    By John Holland and Christiana Sciaudone
    Staff Writers
    Posted September 9 2003

    DAVIE -- Thick, black smoke filled the apartment, separating a mother from her two children.

    Yelling out in the dark and blindly touching walls to guide her, she found the coughing children early Monday morning, scooped them up and ran, no chance to even put shoes on their feet.

    For the second time in 30 hours, Thea Deshong fled a fire in the middle of the night. And for the third time in a week, investigators have to figure out what happened at the Arrowhead Condominiums.

    Since Sept. 1, three fires and a murder have hit the usually quiet complex just west of University Drive near Griffin Road. No one has been injured in the blazes, but they've gotten progressively worse, with Monday's incident destroying 32 units on four floors of one building, mostly inhabited by single residents, and leaving 40 to 50 people homeless.

    The eight units on the top floor were destroyed by fire and the remaining 24 were destroyed by water and smoke. Fire marshals were investigating the cause of the fire Monday evening. They may have answers today.

    The cost of the damage is estimated to be at least $3 million, since the one- and two-bedroom homes sell for between $75,000 and $110,000.

    The first fire, which police said was set a week ago to cover up a killing, was not related to the weekend blazes and happened in a different building than the last two fires.

    The fires late Saturday night and early Monday morning began in the same building, and investigators are still sorting through the rubble to see if they are connected. It's too early to tell, fire officials said, but they strongly dismissed residents' suggestions that Saturday's fire wasn't properly snuffed out.

    "I would say with confidence that when they left the scene Sunday morning after more than six hours the fire was out," said Davie Fire-Rescue Capt. Brian Nolte. "[Firefighters] said that there was no way this could have been rekindled."

    The state fire marshal's office has joined the investigation, and its arson dog, Buddy, was on scene most of the day, said spokeswoman Nina Banister.

    Just before midnight Saturday, firefighters responded to a fourth-floor fire in building No. 6. The fire, apparently touched off when a cat knocked over a candle, was contained to one room, although neighbors said smoke and soot filled their condominiums.

    Early Sunday morning, residents began returning home.

    Deshong said her apartment reeked of smoke, its walls a deep black. She and her children, Nicole, 13, and Greg, 9, spent the day cleaning.

    By Monday morning there was nothing left to clean. The family's cat, Todd, had perished, and just about everything else they owned was gone.

    "I don't know where we're going to stay tonight, it's just devastating," said Deshong, who bought the condominium on May 1.

    She talked standing barefoot, while her son fought back tears as she mentioned the cat.

    "I had put in smoke detectors, thank God, because that's what woke me up," she said. "There was so much smoke in the place that I couldn't see anything. I just knew I had to get my kids and get out as fast as possible. This is worse than anything you can imagine."

    The American Red Cross worked throughout the day to clothe and feed the victims and find them shelter. Firefighters and the families, sweltering under the morning sun, made steady treks to a refreshment area set up by the organization.

    Shortly after noon, a giant crane arrived to lift the collapsed roof so fire marshals could get a better look. They also wanted to make sure the building wouldn't collapse.

    Smoke billowed from the apartments throughout the morning, although the fire was contained by 7 a.m.

    A week ago Monday, also at 5 a.m., firefighters were called to the Arrowhead complex and put out a small fire in one of the units of building No. 5. Inside, they found William J. Baldi, 50, who was murdered by someone who cut his throat, then used an accelerant to set his apartment on fire.

    Police have issued a warrant for Ricky Alan Sleight, 33, who was staying with Baldi.

    Sleight remains on the run, and police said he fled in Baldi's Nissan Pathfinder.

    The recent events at the normally quiet complex have left neighbors uneasy.

    Brodie Bowman, 31, lives in the building next to the burned-out building, was among those evacuated Monday morning. An orthodontic resident in training, Bowman moved in a few months after a recommendation from a friend who had lived there for four years.

    "Three fires and a murder -- it's not looking too good," Bowman said, adding it's normally a nice community. Asked if he would stay, he responded: "It's debatable."

    John Holland can be reached at jholland@sun-sentinel .com or 954-385-7909.


    Copyright 2003, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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