HOUSTON Fourteen families were left without a home after a two-alarm fire completely destroyed 15 units at a west Houston apartment complex early Sunday, fire officials said.
According to the Houston Fire Department, it started around 3:30 a.m. at Waverly Apartments located in the 2300 block of Hayes Road.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found that the fire had already spread to several units. That is when a second alarm was requested.
For 10 years, I haven t seen nothing that big, said neighbor Jason Edwards.
Families were forced to run as heavy flames and thick smoke swept through their homes. As 50 firefighters battled the blaze, families could only watch and pray something would be left to go home, too.
I m trying to keep myself from not breaking down, said renter Maria Delgado. It s hard, it s very hard.
Delgado was one of 14 families who lost everything.
It s devastating, said Delgado. I lived here by myself. All my life is pretty much here.
The fire was declared under control a little less than an hour after HFD arrived at the scene. The building suffered heavy fire, smoke and water damage.
Sunday morning it was time for families to pick up the pieces. They hauled whatever they could salvage. The damage was clearly visible. The roof melted away, windows shattered, the walls crumbled under the intense heat of the flames.
Most of them ran out the door with whatever they had on, said Dave Spilman, with the American Red Cross.
One person had minor burns, but was not transported to the hospital.
The Red Cross has helped place all impacted families until they can get back on their feet.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.