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Tenants evacuated from burning Dunedin apartment building

PALM HARBOR — An early-morning fire of undetermined cause did an estimated $90,000 in damage to a residential duplex in Dunedin on Thursday, authorities said.

The fire at 619 Wood St. was reported at 6:22 a.m., according to the Dunedin Fire Department.

A dozen fire units and two ambulances responded to the fire, Dunedin District Fire Chief Trip Barrs said. Clearwater firefighters assisted.

Because of heavy morning fog, firefighters initially had a hard time finding the fire in the residential complex, according to Dunedin Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Parks. The fire was extinguished in about 12 minutes once it was located, authorities said.

Nobody was home when the blaze began. Two neighbors and three cats were evacuated from the duplex because of the flames, but no people or animals were injured.

The two residents of the unit where the fire began were unable to return because of the extensive damage, Parks said.

Fire-resistant walls prevented the flames from spreading to the neighboring apartment, Parks said. The residents of that unit, who were also evacuated, were allowed back into their home.

"They can thank the fire walls for doing their jobs," Parks said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Dunedin Fire Department and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Parks said.

Times staff writer Laura C. Morel contributed to this report. Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Tenants evacuated from burning Dunedin apartment building 01/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 3, 2013 7:50pm]

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