Pensacola, FL -- Approximately 100 residents of a senior living complex were evacuated after a fire ignited in the building.
Escambia County received a 911 call at 11:26am. A report of flames and smoke at the Johnson Lakes Apartments was sent in. Firefighters quickly responded to the fire, but, as it turned out, the fire was the least of their problems. Intense heat outside created even bigger problems.
Firefighters quickly contained and extinguished the fire; however, outside, it was over 100 degrees. Residents of the 160 units had to be loaded into air conditioned buses. Two people were sent to the hospital for heat exhaustion and four people were displaced. Six people were found inside the building, and were in good health.
"The fire itself was relatively minor in nature, but the pure size of the building is a bit of a challenge. We had to ensure residents were evacuated or sheltered in a safe portion of the building," said Deputy Fire Chief Paul Williams.
Senior residents sat in the patches of shade. They sat in wheelchairs, leaned on walkers, and others wheeled oxygen tanks behind them. The Red Cross was at the scene, handing out water and urging residents to go into the buses.
One person remarked, "It's hotter out here than it was in there [the building on fire]."
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