Fla. Apt. Fire Displaces More Than 50 Residents


Palm Beach Fire Rescue is investigating the cause of an apartment fire that has displaced more than 50 residents.

Crews were called to the four-story apartment building in the 1500 block of North Australian Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Firefighters said the fire was in a utility room. They said the fire knocked out power to the building, prompting the fire department to declare the building unlivable for the time being.

Palm Beach Fire Rescue said there were no injuries as a result of the fire and no apartments were damaged.

The American Red Cross said they established a temporary shelter to house more than 50 displaced residents.

"This does not happen often, but the American Red Cross trains for this every day. We sheltered 26 people last night (Saturday). We expect to shelter even more than that this evening," Joe Hansen, spokesman for the West Palm Beach chapter of the American Red Cross, said.

Cots lined the recreation area at Gaines Park as displaced residents from the apartment fire made it their temporary home.

"We stayed here all night. People took care of us and gave us something to eat," displaced resident Joel Lemaine said.

Cleanup and repair crews were working in the building all day Sunday, but officials said it could be Wednesday, or even later, before all the residents are allowed to return.

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