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FSU students evacuated, dog killed as fire burns homes in Tallahassee student housing complex

Students barely escaped a fire that burned down several apartments at the Campus Row student housing complex on Carolina Street around 2 a.m. Monday.

A crowd of dozens watched the raging flames as residents fled with their pets, roommates, friends and significant others.

About five minutes after the fire started, the Tallahassee Fire Department arrived on scene to evacuate residents and prevent the flames from spreading. At least three fire engines and two ambulances were at the scene to extinguish the fire. Tallahassee Police Department officers were also on scene to assist.

“TFD firefighters launched an aggressive attack on the fire while searching for potential occupants and evacuating the building,” a TFD spokesperson wrote in a news release.

The fire was completely extinguished by 2:45 a.m

“We had the door slammed and ran outside and saw the apartment next to us burning,” said Mackenzie Hill, an FSU student who lives on Campus Row. “This is something you don’t think will ever happen.”

No injuries were reported, but TFD spokesman Todd Insera said a cat was rescued and a dog was killed in the fire.

The fire engulfed the second floor of a home in the complex and burned a large hole in the roof.

The fire engulfed the second floor of a home in the complex and burned a large hole in the roof.

“When we showed up there was heavy fire,” Insera told the Democrat.

He said three buildings were affected by the fire and the state fire marshal was investigating.

TFD was assisted at the scene by the Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County EMS and City of Tallahassee Utilities.

The fire appears to have started on the second floor of the complex's leasing office, but this has not yet been confirmed.

The Tallahassee Fire Department was on scene to evacuate students and extinguish the fire that burned several buildings in the Campus Row student housing complex.  The fire appears to have started in the complex's leasing office, the smoldering building pictured.The Tallahassee Fire Department was on scene to evacuate students and extinguish the fire that burned several buildings in the Campus Row student housing complex.  The fire appears to have started in the complex's leasing office, the smoldering building pictured.

The Tallahassee Fire Department was on scene to evacuate students and extinguish the fire that burned several buildings in the Campus Row student housing complex. The fire appears to have started in the complex's leasing office, the smoldering building pictured.

The fire spread to the top floor of the house behind it, leaving a large hole in the roof. The wind spread large clouds of smoke and engulfed the surrounding area.

Around 8:30 a.m. Monday, TFD had to return to Campus Row when smoke was coming from the roof of one of the apartments. Broken glass, black ash and firefighting foam covered the ground around the three buildings that caught fire.

The student apartment complex is located just two blocks from the Florida State University campus. It is densely populated with houses just a few meters apart. Four to six residents live in each two-story house.

Campus Row is adjacent to other student housing complexes, including SAGA Tallahassee, a five-story apartment building that houses hundreds of students.

Spectators watching the fire discussed how the morning marked the start of finals week at FSU.

A crowd of dozens of onlookers watch as students evacuate a fire at the Campus Row student housing complex on Carolina Street, just two blocks from Florida State University's campus.A crowd of dozens of onlookers watch as students evacuate a fire at the Campus Row student housing complex on Carolina Street, just two blocks from Florida State University's campus.

A crowd of dozens of onlookers watch as students evacuate a fire at the Campus Row student housing complex on Carolina Street, just two blocks from Florida State University's campus.

Benjamin Taubman is a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat. He can be reached at btaubman@gannett.com. Ana Goñi-Lessan contributed to this story.

This article originally appeared on FSU News: Florida State University Campus Row apartment fire prompts evacuations

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