4 children, 2 adults seriously injured in Bradenton apartment fire

Manatee County

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Several people have been displaced from their homes after suffering serious injuries from an overnight fire at a Bradenton apartment complex.

According to Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, the fire broke out just before midnight Saturday at the Aaron Lake Apartment Complex on 43rd Ave West in Bradenton.

When 8 On Your Side arrived at the scene at 5 a.m., firefighters and police were still on scene investigating the premises with flashlights. Firefighters and police didn’t clear out until about 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

“There were flames through the windows and roof,” said Eric Center, fire marshal for Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue.

Center said the blaze was strong.

The fire sent six people, four children and two adults to the hospital in serious condition.

At one of the second-story windows, there was what appeared to be a bedsheet draping to the ground, likely a makeshift rope to escape the smoke and flames.

In addition to getting the six people out of the building, fire crews said they rescued multiple animals including several puppies, two dogs and three cats.

“It’s what we trained for,” Center said. “We arrived on scene and knew exactly what to do. Our guys have trained day-in and day-out.”

A total of 14 fire emergency vehicles responded to the fire, including ladder trucks and ambulances.

The state fire marshall has now taken charge of the investigation and is working to figure out what ignited that fire in the attic of the 16-unit apartment complex.

A GoFundMe was established to support those displaced after the fire.

Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge was on a ride-along with Manatee deputies when the fire broke out. He’s created another GoFundMe page to help support the victims. He intends to distribute the money ahead of Thanksgiving.

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