Fire destroys 8 apartments in Sanford; 9 people without homes

Gas grills on balcony possible cause

SANFORD, Fla. – An apartment building in Sanford with eight units was destroyed Sunday morning.

Sanford Fire Department received the call shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday morning.

Authorities said people in the apartment building were having a party using gas and charcoal grills on their balconies. The residents thought that the gas was turned off on the gas grills and that the charcoal grills were cooled off, but that was apparently not the case.

"The policy is they are not supposed to have grills on the balconies and they are supposed to be used away from the building and then brought back once the cool down but this one was used on the balcony," said Sanford fire inspector Mark James.

During the fire on victim had to jump out of a window to escape. Only minor injuries were reported. The apartments are a complete loss.

The Red Cross is helping the victims and the apartment management is placing the victims in open units for now.