HOUSTON -- AIG employees weren t expecting a half day Tuesday, but when they started to notice smoke and flames coming from the next door apartment complex under construction, they knew it was time to get out.

They notified us to evacuate the building, said Abel Teniente, a nearby employee.

The flames spread quickly.

The southeast wall of the building had been breached by flames, so it was warm by the window and they told everybody to get out, said Brook Syers, a nearby employee. When you start feeling the heat you know the flames aren t too far away.

But not everyone in other buildings got evacuation warnings.

It was getting hot and you could smell the fire and then everybody was by the window taking pictures and we could see the fire. So we just left, said Marisa Rodriguez, a nearby employee.

People watched in amazement, as firefighters worked against the wind to get the flames under control.

It s a real scary feeling to be that close to it, said Teniente.

Thankful they have a job and office to return to Wednesday.

It s sad. But thank god it wasn t our building, said an employee who was evacuated.

Firefighters said the building next door was only evacuated as a precaution and there was no real threat.


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