Fire puts four families out of their homes

Ahouse fire put four families out of a home after the blaze made the house inhabitable Friday morning.

Joe Giles, battalion captain for the North River Fire District, said nine rescue vehicles were called out at 4:51 a.m. to 1315 Fifth St. W. in Palmetto. There, 21 firefighters found the second story of a large home on fire.

Firefighters had the fire under control within an hour, Giles said, but the fire had still done about $190,000 in damage, making it uninhabitable and gutting the second floor.

Giles said the home had been subdivided into four apartments, and four families were living at the home at the time of the fire.

No one was hurt in the fire, Giles said, which was reported by a resident in the apartment where the fire originated, on the top floor.

Giles said the fire was accidental. The cause is still being investigated.

Meanwhile, the Manatee County chapter of the American Red Cross has moved in to help the families made homeless by the fire.

According to a news release by the American Red Cross, four families, including an 18-month-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl and five teenagers, along with their parents, are now homeless.

Officials from the American Red Cross have coordinated places for the families to stay and given them food and clothing.

Anyone wishing to help the families is asked to call the American Red Cross at 792-8686.