Florida deputies rescue baby from large apartment fire in Orlando
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Three Florida deputies are being hailed as heroes after saving a baby from a massive apartment fire.
The fire broke out on Saturday morning in Orange County leaving an entire building – 24 units -- "uninhabitable" due to fire, smoke, and water damage.
Firefighters from multiple departments in Central Florida responded to the Isles at East Millennia apartments in Orlando.
Orange County deputies were first to arrive and found flames and smoke coming from the apartments, and families on the second floor reportedly trapped.
"It was chaos everywhere," said Deputy William Puzynski. "I started looking around you could see families trapped on each floor, hanging off the balconies."
From one of the apartment balconies, a mother was trying to lower her infant daughter to safety.
"I started climbing the building but couldn't make it all the way," said deputy Puzynski. "That's when my partners helped me out. That's when I was able to get to the second floor, then climbed up to the third, grabbed the baby. That's when I handed the baby down to my partners."
Orange County Fire Rescue helps seven more people get out of the building.
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No one was reported hurt – citizens or first responders – and no residents were transported to the hospital, said Orange County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Steve Sherrill.
"Everybody was accounted for," he said.
It took about an hour to knock down the flames, officials said.
About half of the units in the building – a dozen or so – were damaged by fire, while the others were damaged by smoke and water.
"We're gonna kill power to the entire fire structure, even the ones not affected just because with it getting into the attic, we know the electrical was compromised. So we don't want to leave anyone in there with power on," Chief Sherrill said earlier Saturday morning.
The Orlando Red Cross has responded to help those residents impacted find temporary housing.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known and remains under investigation.