Baby Dies Florida Condo Fire

Dec. 2, 2008
A fire tore through a Lauderhill condominium Monday night killing a baby and forcing dozens from their homes.


A fire tears through a Lauderhill condominium Monday night killing a baby and forcing dozens from their homes.

A woman and two children, including the baby, were in the unit where the fire started, NBC 6's Steve Litz reported. The fire, which happened at approximately 9 p.m. on the fourth floor of the condo building near Commercial Ave. and the Florida Turnpike, was difficult for firefighters to control since it was higher up.

"They're already stretching that hose three or four hundred feet then they have to go up to the fourth floor," deputy chief Marc Celetti of the Lauderhill Fire-Rescue Department said. "So to fight an aggressive fire like this requires a lot of resources."

The condo where the fire happened is without a roof after it collapsed after the fire.

Residents said they saw heavy smoke, then flames and everyone started racing out of the building.

"I heard the alarms going off in the building and there was a lot of smoke and there were people running around," resident Arlinda Muniz said. " And there were kids screaming and a woman screaming. Then you heard a big blast and there were flames coming out from the front door I assume in one of the apartments on the fourth floor. There were a lot of flames, people were running around ... a lot of smoke."

Resident Rudy Brody said residents were crying, cold and confused. Approximately 40 residents who were evacuated had to spend the night in buses, Litz reported.

Investigators confirmed that the power was cut off to that particular unit.

Fire officials are investigating what caused the fire, but they said the fire does not appear to be suspicious. Two units were severely damaged and four other units were affected.

The Red Cross is assisting residents.

The woman and her other child are expected to be OK.

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