Firefighter, police officer among those injured in Daytona Beach apartment fire

Officer, neighbor treated for smoke inhalation; firefighter's hands burned

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group, Brianna Volz - Web producer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Three people, including a police officer and a firefighter, were injured in a blaze Sunday night at a Daytona Beach apartment complex where a man set fire to his home, officials said Monday.

The blaze took place at Novawood Apartments on South Nova Road after the man told police he had to start the blaze to force a sniper out of his home and protect him and his wife, according to a news release from the Daytona Beach Police Department.

The fire started in the kitchen and then spread throughout some of the nearby rooms.

Five Daytona Beach crews and one South Daytona crew worked quickly to get the flames and smoke under control. Firefighters contained the fire to the apartment where it started.

The firefighter suffered second-degree burns to his or her hands, while the officer was treated for smoke inhalation, according to a release from the Daytona Beach Fire Department.

The injured police officer had entered the burning apartment before firefighters had arrived to help get someone out of the unit.

The third patient was a neighbor who was also trying to help get the occupant out. That person was treated for smoke inhalation, as well.

Police said they had been to the man's home earlier in the evening after the man called 911 and told dispatchers soldiers outside his home were trying to get him and his wife. After talking to him at the home, officers said they determined he did not meet the state's criteria to be held for an involuntary mental examination under the Baker Act.

The people inside the apartment were not hurt, police said. They were taken to Halifax Health Medical Center for mental evaluations, the release said.

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