TAMPA — A fire at a downtown independent living facility sent a woman in her 70s to a hospital with second- and third-degree burns and evacuated residents of the top two floors Thursday morning, firefighters said.
Firefighters responded to the fire at Methodist Place Apartments, 400 E Harrison St., at about 3:25 a.m., said Tampa Fire Rescue Lt. Tamera Kemp. They cleared from the scene by about 6 a.m.
She said there was a lot of smoke coming from a unit on the 13th floor. About 50 firefighters responded to the scene and the 75 residents of the top two floors, the 13th and 14th, were evacuated, said Kemp.
"It was put under control very quickly," she said.
One 71-year-old woman, who lives in the 13th floor unit, was taken to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries, she said. The woman has third-degree burns to her face, neck and shoulders and second-degree burns on the top of her head.
Kemp said investigators determined the fire was accidental and began when the woman was smoking in bed. Damage was estimated at $100,000.
Other residents were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, she said.
Flames were confined to one unit, Kemp said, and were very small.
The evacuated residents waited inside the lobby as firefighters worked to control the smoke. By 5:45 a.m., some residents had returned to their rooms, but the 13th floor was off limits, a firefighter said.