DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Several residents of a Delray Beach condominium building were evacuated from the their homes Tuesday after an early morning fire that started in a unit belonging to a former professional basketball player.
Former Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets player Jayson Williams told WPTV that a fire at the Ocean Place high-rise building along South Ocean Boulevard started inside his condo.
Williams told WPTV that he was at the gym and wasn't home at the time.
DEVELOPING: I just spoke with former NBA player Jayson Williams. He tells me the fire started inside his condo. He wasn’t home at the time. He says he was at the gym. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/nSGYePTnq9— Kamrel J. Eppinger (@KAMRELTV) October 12, 2021
The 1990 first-round NBA draft pick spent nine seasons in the league before a leg injury forced him to retire in 2000. He had several publicized legal run-ins through the years, most notably serving prison time after pleading guilty to assault for his role in the accidental shooting death of a limousine driver in 2002.
Delray Beach firefighters said by the time they arrived, most of the people living inside were already out, but there were six elderly residents who needed help.
One of them was in a wheelchair and had to be carried downstairs by firefighters.
Dick McQuade, who has lived in the building for about 24 years, said he woke up to the sound of the fire alarm. McQuade said when he walked into the hallway, it was filled with smoke.
Firefighters said no one was hurt and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.