Fort Worth firefighters were alerted to a raging apartment building fire by a knock on the firehouse door early this morning.
Just before 1:30 a.m., firefighters at Station 23 were woken up by a man knocking on the door. The man, who suffered a burned hand, said that his apartment –only a few buildings from the station -- was on fire and that he needed help rescuing his dog.
As Engine 23 and Quint 23 started to respond and notify the alarm office, they were dispatching a first alarm because of a cell phone call reporting the fire. At 1;30 a.m. Engines 23, 30 and 16, Quints 23 and 16 and Battalions 2 and 5 were dispatched to the 3200 block of Hunter Park Circle on the city’s far West Side.
On arrival of Station 23’s units, they reported heavy fire from the rear of the first floor, center apartment of a two-story, four-unit complex. The fire was rapidly extending. Engine 23’s crew deployed an initial handline and Quint 23’s crew started to alert residents and search for victims.
Battalion 5 arrived at 1:35 a.m. and called for a second alarm as the fire spread to the adjacent and second floor apartments. Second alarm units were Engines 8, 39, 32, Trucks 8 and 2, Squad 2, and Battalions 3 and 1.
Firefighters forced entry to several of the apartments and alerted several sleeping residents who they helped escape.
As fire took control of the attic space and all apartments were searched, they moved to exterior operations. Using Quint 23’s aerial and several two-inch hoselines, the fire was brought under control in about 40 minutes.
The fire destroyed or damaged all eight units, seven of which were occupied leaving 14 residents homeless. The cause is still under investigation.