Dozens Displaced by Texas Apartment Fire

HOUSTON --

Dozens of families were displaced by a fire at a northwest Harris County apartment complex, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Brandie Williams said she realized that there was danger at the Fairfield Cove Apartments, 15635 Blue Ash Drive, in northwest Harris County was a terrifying scene right next door.

"I looked out our patio and saw the flames coming to our patio," she said. "And the patio is right in front of our bedroom."

She said she grabbed her 10-month-old baby and got to safety.

Crews from Little York Fire Department said the fire spread rapidly, overtaking the building and overwhelming some firefighters.

The assistant chief said two firefighters were sent to the hospital because of heat exhaustion. The flames, combined with the hot summer day, led them to call for reinforcements.

"We're just calling for extra companies right off the bat," Assistant Chief Michael Grove said. "We had a third alarm coming, but by that time the first-alarm companies were pretty much beat."

Some residents said that the fire may have been set intentionally. The regional property manager confirmed that a resident was detained by fire marshals for questioning. He was later released. Neighbors said the man had recently been evicted. One neighbor said the man was seen running and climbing a fence on the property, only to return.

When the smoke cleared, the apartment staff determined that 32 units were damaged and 32 families displaced.

Stewart Robertson lives on the first floor of the building.

"I'm sure I'm going to have water damage," he said. "The upper units, it doesn't look really good."

The apartment staff has moved the displaced families to vacant apartments on property.

Because of the damage, the apartment staff is asking the public to help with donations for the displaced families.

"Food, clothing, furniture, anything anyone can provide would be wonderful," said Lisa Vercher, regional property manager of Greystar Management.

Items for the families can be donated to the American Red Cross or taken to the apartment complex's office.

Giovanni Cruz said he's happy that he and Williams were able to get their family to safety, but upset that this destruction may have intentional.

"Very upset because he could have hurt our family, and we can't replace that," Cruz said.

At last check there had been no arrests or charges.

Copyright 2009 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Loading