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Fire burning at Oakland Park apartment complex

Flames burn through roof of apartment building early Monday

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. – More than a dozen apartments were damaged in an Oakland Park fire Monday.

Flames broke out Monday morning in a two-story building within the Greentree apartment complex, 5235 N. Dixie Highway. Sixteen units had smoke and water damage. 

"I couldn't believe it," resident Alice Perez said. "It was, like, so horrible. First it was, like, a little flame and then it just erupted into this inferno."

Residents were forced to evacuate quickly.

Kevin Preves, 15, woke up to the sound of a fire alarm. He grabbed his little brother and mother. All of them managed to make it out safely.

"Fire everywhere. It was spreading too," Preves said. 

The building where the fire started is 40 years old. The fire chief said it is not equipped with a firewall. That firewall could have made all the difference in battling the blaze. 

At one point, crews had to pull back after part of the roof collapsed. Twenty-seven fire units from five different agencies stayed at the scene for hours trying to contain the fire.

No one was injured. 

"It was my grandson's room. He could've been in there, but he's not. He's OK," a worried Darcy Metoyer said. "It's just stuff. It's just stuff."

Now 24 people are displaced.

The American Red Cross is helping the displaced residents. Officials with the organization said they provided shelter, food and clothing to 22 adults and two children.

"We're providing them emergency shelter, food and clothing since they don't have [those] immediate things right now," American Red Cross volunteer Bernadette Jay said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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