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HOUSTON Houston firefighters rescued several frightened residents a a north Houston assisted living center Thursday afternoon. Otherswere forced to evacuate after part of their building caught fire.

One man, who was rescued from an upper floor by a ladder truck, was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Several others were checked out at the scene, according to the Houston Fire Department.

Firefighters werecalled to the five-story living center on Lyerly Street near Fulton Street around 12:15 p.m. A small fire with smoke was reported on the second floor. Because of the nature of the facility, a second alarm was pulled.

About 130 firefighters responded to the fire and they had it under control by 1 p.m.

Fortunately, the facility had stair chairs in the stairwell, which made the rescues easier.

Resident Willie Gabriel said the smoke was really bad.

Whew, like fog, thick, can't hardly breathe, saidGabriel. Had me crawling on my knees until I made it to the stairwell. I was good then.

It s not yet known what caused the fire.

All but two residents were able to return to their units when the fire was out. The others were relocated within the facility.

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