Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Smoke fills 22-story condo



On Thursday June 28th at 6:57 PM The City of Marco Island Fire Rescue Department received a call of a fire in a high rise structure at the Royal Seafarer Condominium, 300 South Collier Blvd.  The Royal Seafarer Condominium is a 24 story high rise structure.  The caller reported a fire in apartment number 904.  Units from Marco Island, Isle of Capri, East Naples, and Collier County EMS were immediately dispatched.  Upon the arrival of the first fire unit they reported smoke coming out of the lobby doorways and residents evacuating the building.  A second alarm of an additional 3 engines and a ladder were requested immediately in addition to command staff.  Personnel from the Marco Island Fire Department made their way to the 9th floor encountering numerous residents in the stairwells trying to get out.  A secondary search and rescue crew assisted residents out of the building. Marco Island Police and Fire began an accountability system for residents within the building. Interior fire crews found smoke on all floor levels as they made their way up.  911 began receiving calls of individuals trapped within the building on various floors.  Residents on scene reported that there were occupants with disabilities on the 23rd, 9th and 11th floors that needed assistance.
The initial attack crew coming onto the 9th floor found the hallway completely black with smoke and two residents of a unit on that floor in their apartment.  The crew removed the occupants from the smoke in the hallway and apartment to the safe passage of the stairwell. In order to accomplish this one of the crew members took off his mask and placed it on the occupant in order to get through the smoke. As additional crews arrived they were sent to the various floors and assisted trapped occupants out of the building.  A crew made entry into the apartment and found a kitchen involved with fire to the ceiling and knocked the fire down.  EMS crews established a triage area for the occupants


as they were brought down from the upper floors.  Eight people were evaluated by EMS crews and one individual received the recommendation to go to the hospital but refused.  The Fire Departments checked all rooms and ventilated all floors of smoke.
Fire Investigators found that a pot of oil had been placed on the stove for cooking purposes.  The occupant left the unit.  Upon one of the occupants of that unit returning they found the unit completely filled with smoke and the fire in the kitchen area and they immediately called 911.  The building alarm system was activated and occupants began the evacuation.
The Royal Seafarer is one of 21 high rise structures on Marco Island that only have sprinklers in the common hallway areas and in some cases one sprinkler head directly inside the apartment main door.  The kitchen area was not in proximity to the lone sprinkler head inside the doorway and therefore the fire was not put out by the sprinkler and was allowed to grow generating a large amount of toxic smoke. Approximately 75 occupants were in the building at the time and all with the exception of the fire floor were allowed to return to their units at approximately 1:00 AM.  The building was turned over to the management company.  A total of 19 fire units and over 50 firefighters and EMS personnel were needed on this scene because of the extensive toxic smoke in this structure and the evacuation of elderly and handicapped residents.  If this building had been fully sprinklered the probability is that the sprinkler would have extinguished the fire and smoke and fire damage would have been limited to the fire unit.
During this incident the Fire Department received another call for a structure fire at a high rise 440 Seaview  Ct.  Crews responding to that scene found a dryer fire in the dryer vent shaft due to lint catching fire in the dryer ventilation shaft.  This fire was handled by the City of Naples in conjunction with North Naples Firefighters.

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