Fire victim: Condo was having electrical problems - FOX 13 News

Fire victim: Condo was having electrical problems

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(Courtesy HFR) (Courtesy HFR)
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue is trying to determine what started a destructive fire at a condo complex in Tampa early Wednesday morning.

Residents of the Manhattan Palms Condos awoke to red-hot flames. The fire was growing and moving quickly through Building 2. People got out of harm's way as quickly as they could.

Jaclyn Gutierrez says her child was her first thought.

"I have my 2-year-old daughter and we don't even have anything," she said.

After the fire, Gutierrez stood dumbfounded, watching fire fighters clean up the mess. She told FOX 13 the fire started in her apartment out of nowhere. She says she has been having electrical problems and that an electrician was scheduled to come to her home this week.

People came back to Manhattan Palms to salvage what they could. They packed up entire dresser drawers and clothes still on the hanger.

Resident Mandy Bartlett lives in the units across from the fire. She stood by the caution tape later Wednesday shocked by all the damage. Bartlett could see the enormous flames from her kitchen window.

"We started packing up and everything because we thought we were going to have to evacuate because the flames were just reaching higher and higher," said Bartlett. "It was hard for (fire fighters) to get them under control."

The roof is gone. Thirty two people lost the place they call home. Firefighters got the fire under control in about 45 minutes. That's all the time it took for those residents to lose so much.

"Everybody else has nothing and I have nothing along with them," said Gutierrez.

Her two dogs were killed in the fire. Wednesday afternoon, a fire-rescue spokeswoman said the cause of the fire was "undetermined."

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