DALLAS — Firefighters gathered and saluted in a somber moment as an ambulance left the scene with the body of a Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighter, who disappeared after radioing that he was trapped during a six-alarm blaze at a northeast Dallas condominium building.
About 150 firefighters worked together to clear debris as they searched for the firefighter who called for help at about 5:30 a.m. Monday.
The fire at the complex, located in the 2300 block of Abrams Road just north of LBJ Freeway, burned so intensely that firefighters had to call for six alarms, bringing additional manpower to the scene. A portion of the three-story building collapsed and the blaze destroyed at least 24 condos.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans confirmed that one firefighter went missing around after he was heard on the radio saying, "I'm trapped."
At about 8:30 a.m., a gurney set up for the missing firefighter was moved and firefighters formed a line around the burnt out building. As of 9:17 a.m., there was still no official word that the firefighter was dead.
Two Dallas firefighters, both with leg injuries, were taken to a hospital and a resident was treated for smoke inhalation.
It appeared that no tenants were missing or injured in the fire that was first reported at 3 a.m. The American Red Cross was at the scene to assist residents with emergency needs.
Firefighters were paying close attention to embers from the blaze that could threaten other nearby homes and apartments.
"They're fighting the wind today, and it's making it worse for them to try and get it out," said a neighborhood woman who identified herself as Selina. "The flames are just incredible, and my heart goes out to everyone involved."
Streets surrounding the fire scene were closed to traffic to clear the way for emergency vehicles.
According to tax records, the 394,000 square foot condominium building was built in 1980.