A two-alarm fire destroyed more than a dozen southwest Houston apartments, leaving 13 families homeless, KPRC Local 2 reported Saturday.
The blaze broke out at the Walden Pond Apartments, located at 12950 Whitington, shortly after 12:30 a.m.
Fire officials said it was not easy bringing the fire under control. Firefighters were ordered to back off for a while when the roof and walls threatened to collapse. Before it was over, two firemen were hurt.
"Two firefighters injured on scene. I believe we're going to transport one -- neither one are life threatening injuries at this time," said HFD Chief Jack Williams.
Arson investigators spent hours sifting through the ashes and said the fire was deliberately set, and may have been started to cover up a burglary.
"Some guy saw a guy coming out with our laptop -- I and my roommate had a laptop," resident Preeti Sood said.
Neighbors said they saw a stranger coming out of Sood's apartment carrying a computer, and a few minutes later, the apartment was on fire.
Flames spread rapidly through the top two floors.
"I was falling asleep and my neighbor said, 'Get out. Get out.' And when I opened the front door, there was black smoke and within 10 minutes it was gone," resident J.C. Brodlowicz said.
The thief escaped, officials said.
"I dont know where were going to start. We have to begin to start all over. I dont know what we're going to do," resident Lorenzo Bishop said.
"Everything is gone. I have a suitcase of clothes I took with me, but thats all I guess," Sood said.
The American Red Cross is providing financial assistance to nine families that lost everything.
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