HOUSTON – One person was killed in a two-alarm apartment fire that destroyed more than a dozen units and displaced 80 people Thursday afternoon in northwest Houston, fire officials said.
According to the Houston Fire Department, it started around 2:30 p.m. at the West Vintage Apartments located at 6500 West 43rd Street near Northwest Freeway.
Initially, firefighters had a hard time fighting the fire since hydrants near the building did not work. The hydrants were marked "not working," but it forced firefighters to turn to longer hoses to fight the flames.
Residents said they heard a blast just before the fire started, which blew out some of the windows in the building. Sixteen apartments of the 26-unit building were damaged by the fire.
The fire was declared under control at 3:35 p.m.
Upon a secondary search, firefighters found one deceased individual inside the apartment building.
HFD is working to determine what caused the explosion that started the fire. The Red Cross is also on the scene to help residents displaced by the fire.