Families displaced after fire destroys 24 north Houston apartment units


by khou.com staff, Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News


Posted on August 30, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 31 at 1:01 AM

North Houston Apartment fire

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HOUSTON – More than 80 firefighters battled a blaze that destroyed apartment homes and spread into a small grass fire in north Houston.

The fire broke out at about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Savannah at CityView complex located in the 17000 block of Wayforest.

The fire destroyed 24 units of two residential buildings and damaged a utility building.  As firefighters battled the apartment building fires, a grassfire started near the parking lot and spread over the fence, burning vehicles.

Joyce Newsome cried as she explained how a grease fire started in the kitchen of her apartment.

”We heard some popping and cracking, my daughter screamed, she said, 'Momma it is a fire,'“  Newsome said.

Newsome said she tried to stop it, but didn’t have a fire extinguisher.

“These apartments don’t carry them, so we found a neighbor that had one, but it wasn’t anything in it, by the time we found one that had something in it, it was too late, I lost everything,” she said. “Thank God, nobody’s child is hurt.”

No injuries were reported.

The Houston Fire Department and Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department assisted the Aldine Volunteer Fire Department in battling the fire in Houston’s sweltering heat.  They encountered problems getting water from some of the hydrants on the property. 

Residents complained that there was very little water pressure in the building, but the apartment complex managers said they had no reports of water pressure problems until after the fire started. The managers also said that residents had been issued a fire extinguisher. 

The law states that an extinguisher must be issued when an apartment is leased, but it is up to the resident to keep it in working order.

The American Red Cross was assisting the displaced families.