Investigators believe electrical issue caused Lauderhill apartment fire

Investigators believe an electrical issue was likely to blame for a fire Monday at an apartment building in Lauderhill that sent a pregnant woman to a hospital.

The fire caused extensive damage, destroying at least one unit and leaving other units damaged by smoke and water.

The flames started in Nicola Taylor's living room.

"We didn't stop to check because of my condition," said Taylor, who is eight months pregnant. "We didn't check at all."

Taylor said the thick smoke had already filled her apartment as she dashed down the hall and down the stairs. But she couldn't escape the smoke.

"When I got downstairs, I couldn't breathe (and had an) anxiety attack," Taylor said. "I was on the floor. It was pretty hard because I couldn't breathe, so I didn't know what to do."

Taylor was taken to Plantation General Hospital by ambulance to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Orange placards were put up Tuesday at the building, declaring a portion of the building unsafe.

Fire investigators were back at the scene for a second day, trying to determine what started the fire that displaced at least 19 families.

Gloria Hinds said she came home Tuesday to pick up her mail.

She and her grandson live on the third floor of the building.

"As I burped him and put him on the bed, I heard something was popping, and then I look through the window and see the smoke," Hinds said. "And I just grabbed the baby and my key, and I ran outside."

The fire was reported Monday at a 40-unit apartment building on Northwest 41st Avenue in Lauderhill.

A man said he ran into the burning building and helped carry an older woman to safety.

"When we got down, the first paramedic units were there, so we kind of brought her over to them," Kevin Francis said. "She couldn't say anything. Her eyes were running. Her nose was running."

Hinds also needed medical attention after she slipped on water from firefighters' hoses and hit her head.

Despite losing her home, she said she is grateful.

"What can I say? Thank God I'm alive," Hinds said.

Hinds is staying with her cousin in Plantation. She hopes crews can clean up the area soon so she can move back in.

Other displaced families are being helped by the American Red Cross.

Taylor told Local 10 News that all of her baby-related belongings were lost in the fire.

"It's all gone," Taylor said. "I just had a baby shower Saturday night. Saturday night was my birthday, and they gave me a surprise baby shower, and everything's all gone."

Taylor is expected to give birth to a baby girl in three weeks.

A GoFundMe page was set up for one of the displaced families.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.