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Monday, October 18, 2021

Gainesville apartment complex catches fire

Gainesville Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Hillhouse said it was an electrical fire

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An apartment complex at 2220 SW 34th St. caught fire early Wednesday morning. 

At 2:35 a.m., Gainesville Fire Rescue responded to alerts of a fire at Piccadilly Apartments, near the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. When they arrived about five minutes later, they found fire emerging from the roof of a two-story building, according to a GFR report. 

GFR Chief Joseph Hillhouse said the fire was under control after about 20 minutes, and GFR crews had put it out about another 20 minutes later. GFR began leaving the complex around 4:30 a.m., he said. 

The building’s fire wall, a nearby fire hydrant and quick action from GFR crews limited damage, according to the report. Hillhouse said the estimated cost of the damage is unknown at this time. 

All residents self-evacuated, with one taken to UF Health Shands Hospital by Alachua County Fire Rescue. Gainesville Police took two dogs to UF Health Small Animal Hospital, but the resident and dogs are in stable condition and expected to make full recoveries.

The fire affected 16 apartment buildings, and Hillhouse said it was an electrical fire. Electrical fires can be caused by appliances overheating, the age of a building or a breakdown of wiring, he said.

While the cause is attributed to an electrical fire, GFR urges residents to avoid using candles in bedrooms and other rooms where people may sleep. If people do use candles, GFR recommends keeping them at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn. 

“Making sure that you have working smoke detectors in your sleeping areas is very important,” he said. “Making sure that you’re practicing good fire safety is also very important.”

Contact Abigail Hasebroock at ahasebroock@alligator.org, and follow her on Twitter @abbeyhasebroock




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Abigail Hasebroock

Abigail is a second-year journalism major covering university general assignment news for The Alligator. When she’s not catching up on school or reporting, she’s spending time outside, reading or reorganizing her Spotify playlists - usually all at the same time. 


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