ATASCOCITA, Texas—Firefighters responded to a multi-alarm fire early Wednesday along FM 1960 in the Humble area.
It’s believed a lightning strike sparked the blaze, which broke out after 6 a.m.
KHOU 11 Viewer Earl S. sent in a photo of the fire, which was reported at the Sunrise at Atascocita apartments near Pine Hurst Drive. It took firefighters more than an hour to get it under control.
The fire damaged 24 apartments, leaving several families without homes.
The Red Cross says it is now looking to find new homes for 50 to 55 people. Those affected were temporarily moved to the nearby Church of Christ on Framingham.
Residents thanked Good Samaritans for alerting them to the fire so they could make a safe escape.
Toby and Elizabeth Baxter were on their way to work, when they pulled over to help.
“She said, ‘Hey there’s smoke coming out on top of the building,’” Toby Baxter said.
“I got on the phone, called 911, she jumped out before I did.”
“We just were thinking, get everyone out,” said Elizabeth Baxter.
Most people inside the apartment units heard the storm and thunder, but didn’t realize lightning had hit it and that there was a fire.
The couple, along with a few other Good Samaritans, went door-to-door as flames spread quickly throughout the apartment building’s roof.
“If it hadn’t been for that lady to come by and knock on my door … I would have slept right through,” said Victoria Flores. “It was an angel in disguise.”
Two people were taken to the hospital, including a firefighter who was hit by falling debris. The firefighter had minor injuries. Both victims were expected to be OK.