A multiple alarm fire in Harris County, Texas has left dozens homeless, wreaking havoc to 16 apartment units.
The combustion was reported on Tuesday, February 16, at approximately 4:20 a.m. at the Meadows Apartment Complex, a two-story residential community located at 1400 Blue Bell Road, close to Veterans Memorial Drive, in the northwestern part of Houston.
Initially, just some strange cracking sounds could be heard by residents, but when they went out to check to see the source of this noise, they were met with a giant blaze, that illuminated the dark sky.
The fire rapidly engulfed building 17 of the residential community, filling the air with heavy smoke, but luckily all the dwellers managed to make it through alive, because those who first noticed the blaze immediately alerted the others, helping them leave their apartments in time.
Some knocked on their neighbors’ doors, waking the residents from their slumber and urging them to leave the burning building immediately. Another person took even more decisive action, smashing windows in order to assist others from escaping out of the burning homes.
He was the only one who sustained injuries during the fire and required immediate hospitalization but the wounds aren’t considered to be serious or life-threatening, according to captain Dean Hensley, a representative of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.
First responders also arrived at the scene, and more and more back-up units had to be called in order to contain the combustion, which soon became a multiple alarm fire.
Over 50 firefighters from several units such as the Little York Volunteer Fire Department had to be summoned in order to vanquish the flames, and eventually, by the time dawn came, the devastating blaze was finally restrained, without spreading to other structures or to the nearby trees.
Unfortunately, building 17 was damaged in its entirety by the flames, its roof tumbling down without residents managing to rescue any of their prized possessions, and being simply grateful that they managed to escape unscathed.
The problem is that now the 16 families that have been left homeless by the destructive fire have no other place to go, since there are no more free units in the Meadow Apartment Complex, where they could live from now on.
Red Cross volunteers have been distributing vouchers for food, clothes and hotel stays, but this will only provide relief temporarily.
Meanwhile, authorities have launched an investigation into the factors that contributed to the multiple alarm fire.
Hopefully, it will soon be determined if this was a case of arson, or if the blaze was caused by a malfunctioning heating device, by a mechanical failure affecting a stove or an oven, by unattended cooking equipment or by careless smoking.
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