Article Courtesy of Florida Today
By Rick Heale
February 9, 2011
Cocoa Beach fire investigators believe a faulty water heater sparked a blaze early Sunday morning on the 11th floor of the 2100 Towers high-rise, forcing residents to flee the building.
About 1 a.m., a tower resident reported the smell of smoke in the 11th floor hallway, said James Schindler, a Cocoa Beach firefighter-paramedic.
Firefighters responded to the North Atlantic Avenue high-rise, where sprinklers and fire alarms were activated.
"When we stepped out of the elevator, we did see white smoke in the hallway," Schindler said. "A lot of the residents had already evacuated at that point."
Firefighters forced their way inside a burning condominium and "the unit was completely smoked out," he described. The unit was unoccupied, and firefighters extinguished the blaze.
Schindler said an electrical short at one of the heating elements in the hot-water heater probably caused the fire, which spread from the closet into air-conditioning vents.
He said the closet contained combustible materials -- such as tiki torches, fuel and paint -- and
fire sprinklers helped confine the blaze.
Damage estimates were unavailable Sunday. Schindler said the burned condominium will require extensive repairs, and several units sustained water damage.
Most 2100 Towers residents were allowed to return to their homes within about two hours, Schindler said. Cape Canaveral and Brevard County Fire-Rescue crews also responded to the blaze.