ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – An Altamonte Springs hotel was evacuated early Wednesday morning after one of the buildings went up in flames, according to Seminole County Fire Rescue.
The fire at Remington Inn and Suites on Douglas Avenue, north of State Road 436, could be seen for miles away on Interstate 4 and fire officials were trying to keep people away from the area.
Douglas Avenue from Central Parkway to Westmonte Drive was closed while firefighters battled the blaze.
The building where the fire started just before 4 a.m. was empty because it was condemned after Hurricane Irma, fire officials said. Neighbors said some buildings were under construction.
Hours after the fire was extinguished part of the empty building’s roof collapsed. Watch video of the roof collapse below.
Some residents told News 6 that they had hoped to move into the building once renovations were complete and spent years saving to move from the hotel to a bigger place.
Because of the intensity of the blaze, people in nearby buildings were forced out. Fire officials allowed them back into the unaffected buildings after the fire was out.
Evacuated families told News 6 that the complex is like a hotel in the front, but more like an apartment building in the back with kitchens and living rooms.
Javier Feliciano said he, his 4-year-old son and his wife, who is nine months pregnant, were awakened by knocking on the door.
"We were sleeping and all of a sudden we start hearing everybody banging on the doors and when I opened the door, there's cops saying, 'You gotta get out, there's a fire," Feliciano said.
He said he could see the smoke billowing as he and his family walked to a nearby convenience store.
One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.