SANFORD, Fla. – A large fire destroyed two homes and damaged two others Tuesday morning in the downtown Sanford historic district, according to officials.
The fire broke out around 3 a.m. along Oak Avenue at 4th Street.
Fire officials said a corner home went up in flames and the blaze quickly spread to other houses. One home was leveled and another was gutted, fire officials said.
“These are one of those once in a lifetime career fires where you had three buildings involved at once,” Sanford Fire Chief Craig Radzak said. “Multiple exposures and fortunately, we didn’t have any injuries.”
The fire was particularly challenging, Radzak said, because of the historic area.
“Some of these roads aren’t the widest because they were built in the historic era,” he said. “Also, the buildings are constructed of wood frame, which of course is combustible material, ignites and has the exposure potential.”
No injuries were reported.
Several investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s office were on scene Tuesday morning.
Rayvyn Williams, a neighbor, called 911 when the flames started.
“I was worried that there’s people and animals stuck in the house. So, I’m calling 911 letting them know that there might be people in the house. Someone needs to get here immediately and I was almost in tears talking to them on the phone,” Williams said.
Daylight is giving us a clear view of the damage from the early morning fire near downtown Sanford. Two homes were destroyed. Thankfully, no one was injured. https://t.co/oIm2Jxy5nb pic.twitter.com/DxZ8I4UBLD— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) May 11, 2021
The Sanford fire chief said two people lived in a home behind the house that initially caught fire. They were able to safely escape. The Red Cross was called to assist them.
The other three homes were vacant.
Firefighters have blocked off several streets in downtown Sanford.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
[VIDEO BELOW: Sky 6 flies over downtown Sanford historic district]
Check back for more on this developing story.