Electrical Fire Injures Two On Merritt Island

By  //  January 20, 2013

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No Smoke Detectors In Residence

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BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Fire investigators think an overloaded electrical outlet may have sparked a fire that seriously injured two people on Merritt Island early Saturday morning.

Brevard County Fire Rescue Lt. Jeff Taylor said crews were dispatched to an address in the 900 block of North Tropical Trail about 3:12 a.m. Saturday.

Upon their arrival, firefighters discovered a triplex apartment building with heavy fire involvement in one unit. All residents were out of the structure, but firefighters were not able to enter the building because of tremendous heat and flame involvement to the building.

Taylor said fire crews immediately initiated a defensive fire attack, applying large amounts of water from hand lines and elevated fire streams from a ladder truck to douse the fire.

Two occupants of an apartment sustained serious burns trying to escape the fire and were airlifted to the burn center at Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando. They were described as a man and a woman, both in their early 20’s.

A third occupant of the apartment, a 23-year-old man, was evaluated at the scene, but was not transported to the hospital.

Taykor said conditions of the victims are not available.

Investigators say the fire originated in a bedroom occupied by the victims and appears to have started near an electrical outlet in the room. The apartment was not equipped with smoke alarms and by the time the pair realized a fire had started, flames were so intense that they were unable to escape through the bedroom door.

Both were able to escape through a bedroom window, but not before suffering severe burns and lacerations from the broken window.

“The outcome may have been quite different had the home been equipped with working smoke alarms,” Taylor said. “A working smoke alarm may have alerted the pair to the presence of fire and allowed them to escape without serious injury.”

He said smoke alarms are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to protect families in the event of a fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home and are recommended to be placed both inside and outside of every bedroom.

Taylor said the Red Cross is assisting the residents of the apartment adjacent to the fire. No one inside that unit was injured, however the apartment suffered fire, smoke and water damage and is not habitable.