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Fire in 4 apartments displaces 12 residents

No one is injured and the cause of the fire that destroyed four apartment units is not known.

By JOSE CARDENAS, Times Staff Writer
Published December 12, 2007

Units of Midtown Plaza Apartments on Clearwater-Largo Road were left charred after a Tuesday morning fire.
[Bill Serne | Times]
[Bill Serne | Times]
The inside of one of the apartments shows damage from the early morning fire.

LARGO - A fire early Tuesday at an apartment complex displaced 12 people, some of whom likely will not be in their own homes during the holidays.

The fire was reported about 3:15 a.m. at the Midtown Plaza Apartments in the 500 block of Clearwater-Largo Road. Fire officials estimated the damage at $50,000 to $75,000 and condemned four apartments. No one was injured in the blaze.

"It may be some time before residents can return due to the fact that the roof will have to be replaced," said Gary Hixson, Largo Fire Rescue operations chief.

The American Red Cross placed a family of two adults and four children in a motel for at least three days, said agency spokeswoman Melanie Koch.

The other victims were already gone when a Red Cross volunteer visited, Koch said, but the volunteer left business cards for them in case they need help, too.

The agency will follow up with residents to offer additional help, Koch said.

Two men walking along the street saw flames on the roof and smoke down a walkway of the single-floor building, according to one resident, who declined to give her name. The men began knocking on the doors of the six apartments.

Fire officials have not determined where the fire started or its cause, Hixson said.

On Tuesday, there were blackened wood shavings in the yard of the property next to the apartment complex. A section of the wooden fence that separated both properties was burned.

The roof area on top of the two middle units was burned the worst. The two middle apartments and the units next to each of them were condemned by fire officials.

Jose Cardenas can be reached at or (727) 445-4224.

[Last modified December 11, 2007, 22:50:04]

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