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Dozens displaced by fire at Orange Park apartment complex

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Updated: 2/15 10:13 pm
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Several apartment units were damaged by fire Saturday morning at an apartment complex off of Wells Road in Orange Park, according to Clay County Fire Rescue.

Firefighters sent more than two dozen units to the Landmark at Vista Grande Apartments, formerly known as Mariner's Wharf Apartments, off of Crossing Boulevard in Orange Park just after 8 a.m.

Officials tell Action News between 40 to 50 people were displaced by the flames and it is unclear when they will be allowed to re-enter their residences.

A fire marshal is on the scene and is still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.

Deonte Armstrong said he woke up to flames ripping through his apartment building Saturday morning.

"When we looked up, the whole backside was engulfed in flames, all gray smoke--black smoke, it was real bad," said Armstrong.

Armstrong said he and his family rushed out their home when the fire broke out.

Dozens of firefighters were called to the scene from Clay County Fire Rescue, NAS Jax, Town of Orange Park-and City of Jacksonville.

"We believe that two apartments have the most heavy damage to it, we probably have more with water damage," said Lorin Mock, Clay County Fire Rescue chief.

Neighbors told Action News-the flames shocked them.

"It was kind of surprising that it was close to home and you don't ever expect it to happen to you," said Jeff Approbato.

Action News captured one firefighter being treated for a leg injury.
At least 13 families are getting assistance from the Red Cross for food and clothing.
The apartment complex managers made arrangements for the families to move to other vacant apartments.

Despite the families' losses, Armstrong said at least they're alive.

"I'm just thankful that our neighbors -- we all got out, nobody got hurt, nobody lost their lives thank God."

The state fire marshal is still working to determine what caused the fire.

Mock said it will take a couple days to determine what caused the fire. He said the earliest people will be able to return to their homes will be Tuesday.

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