Assisted Living Facility Catches Fire in Texas

Aug. 2, 2013
Elderly residents were forced to flee a fire that destroyed an assisted living apartment in Stone Oak on Friday.

Aug. 02--A fire at an assisted living apartment complex in Stone Oak ripped through two homes early Friday, sending elderly residents fleeing from the flames.

The blaze broke out just before 6 a.m. at the Independence Village at Stone Oak complex in the 20500 block of Huebner Road. Battalion Chief Brooke Hildreth said it erupted inside a duplex home at the complex, destroying one home and seriously damaging another in the building.

Two couples were displaced.

When firefighters arrived, everyone inside already had gotten out safely, Hildreth said. By then, the fire had reached the building's attic and it quickly ran the length of the building.

"It was just a little stubborn," Hildreth said. "It was shooting off quite a bit of embers, and we were worried because it's so dry."

Neighboring residents were evacuated from their homes as a precaution.

"They said to get out, so I ran out without my shoes on," said neighbor Betty Hennington, 91. "I was sound asleep and they were pounding on my front door."

Hildreth estimated the fire caused about $200,000 worth of damage. Firefighters managed to save the contents of one of the homes, but the other was deemed a total loss.

An arson team is investigating the cause of the fire, but it does not appear to be suspicious.

Two vehicles parked outside were spared from the flames, and firefighters placed a tarp over a third in hopes that it would shield it from the heat.

Hennington and neighbor Mona Koonce, 80, praised the crew for quickly containing the blaze and for helping residents evacuate.

"They've done a wonderful job," Koonce said.

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Copyright 2013 - San Antonio Express-News

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