Instability hinders search for tenant after massive condo fire

Family of missing woman await answers after fire

DALLAS – More than 48 hours after fire ripped through a condominium building on Northwest Highway, firefighters remained on the scene monitoring hot spots.

The seven-alarm fire destroyed homes at Park Place Condos on Friday and displaced more than 100 residents. Emergency workers are still searching for an 89-year-old tenant, who remains missing.

“We didn’t think it would be that bad,” said Riley Deaver, a neighbor who witnessed the fire and rescue efforts.

Debris remains everywhere. Floors and ceilings have collapsed. The building is destroyed.

“It’s too hard to digest,” said tenant Vincenzo DeNardo.

Many neighbors are still stunned after witnessing the fire rip through the building.

“Each time the things on the roof started exploding, it was like a new adjustment to reality,” Deaver explained.

Two days after the initial service call, firefighters remained on scene, watching hot spots that continued to flare.

A steady stream of tenants were also returning. They were taking photos and watching what’s left of the building.

DeNardo lived in his condo 30-years. He lost everything.

“Water wasn’t doing anything,” he said. “The flames kept on going.”

Among the challenges firefighters are facing, they say, the building continues collapsing in spots. That is making it too dangers to get inside.

It is also making it too tough to sift through debris to search for tenant Jacqueline McDonald. She is an 89-year-old woman with dementia who investigators say remains missing.

McDonald’s son, Scott, was posting updates on Facebook over the weekend. Among them, he wrote, “She is not answering calls to the cellphone. She is not in the local hospitals. The Red Cross has her name and my number. So far we just do not know what has happened to her.”

Of the 100 displaced residents, The Red Cross says it's already helped about 30 families. Others are getting help from loved ones.

Investigators say they still do not know what caused the fire at Preston Park Condos. They say with the amount of damage, it will be tough to determine.

Park Cities Baptist Church will be collecting clothing donations and household items for the fire victims. Those donations may be dropped off at the church’s Mission Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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