Everglades City family displaced by fire

An Everglades City duplex caught fire early Friday, severely damaging the building and displacing a family of five.

Ochopee fire Chief Alan McLaughlin said firefighters were dispatched to 675 Copeland Ave., a three-story duplex, around 1:15 a.m. They found the second floor on fire.

A man who lived in one of the units told firefighters he heard his smoke alarm going off and discovered a fire in the laundry room. McLaughlin said the family had been having problems with their dryer and believes some clothes caught fire. When the man tried to move the clothes, it made the fire worse, according to the chief.

The family was able to get out of the building without being injured.

“The smoke detector saved their life,” McLaughlin said.

The second story is considered destroyed, and the rest of the unit is badly damaged, McLaughlin said. The other unit of the duplex was not damaged.

McLaughlin said the Red Cross is helping the family.

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