CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The strong smell of smoke still hangs in the air more than 48 hours after a fire ripped through the “On The Top of the World” Clearwater condo complex, forcing the evacuation of nine units there.
Shiny Christmas ornaments are among the items ruined by the powerful flames, which broke out Thursday afternoon as many people were preparing to celebrate Christmas Eve.
“We had, I bet, 15-20 trucks here. It was a nightmare,” said Art Cornwall, who lives in the same complex and saw it all happen.
“Most of these people had family in the area and they were going to be visiting, they had Christmas decorations and toys. It was very much a setback,” said Cornwall.
With 2016 right around the corner, he hopes a new year will bring renewed hope for his neighbors who lost everything.
The American Red Cross is helping out those residents displaced by the fire.
According to the Clearwater Fire Department, a kitchen grease fire ignited the initial blaze.