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Massive 3-alarm fire destroys apartment complex under construction near Katy; one firefighter hurt

Flames turned the morning sky orange just before sunrise and spread quickly, leveling two four-story buildings and around 400 units.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A massive fire destroyed an apartment complex under construction Wednesday morning in west Harris County. At least one firefighter was injured.

Two four-story apartment buildings were leveled by the three-alarm fire off the Grand Parkway near Katy. There were 200 apartments in each one, according to construction workers. 

Flames turned the morning sky orange just before sunrise. Heavy smoke could be seen from miles away.

A fire department spokesman said the fire was so big, they maxed out the water system early and couldn't stop the flames from spreading to the second building.

“The guys that could get close to the fire were driven back by raging heat so they couldn't get hose lines on the fire," the spokesman said.

The complex had been under construction for six or seven months and appeared to be completed on the outside but the interior wasn't finished. Firefighters said the sprinkler system wasn't activated yet so the flames spread quickly. 

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Some garages and a nearby field also burned and some propane tanks exploded.

Only one person was on the property at the time and he made it out safely. 

Martin Acosta, a construction worker who helped build the apartments, said it's a miracle no one was hurt because there are usually at least six people on the site by 6 a.m.

He and other crew members were stunned to see all their hard work destroyed. 

From Crystal Romera:

"By the time the call came in, the fire was well underway," a fire department spokesman said on the scene.

Firefighters from Harris County, Houston, Katy, Cy-Fair and several smaller departments battled the blaze.

They remained at the scene through the afternoon to check for hot spots.

Once the fire is out, the case will be turned over to the Harris County Fire Marshal's office for an investigation into the cause.

If you're in the area, be sure to use the Near Me feature in the KHOU 11 mobile app to send us video and photos, but only if you can get it safely.

Meanwhile, videos and photos are flooding into social media from those in the area. Here are some submitted to us from KHOU 11 viewers.

From Danielle Wagner: 

This is a developing story and will be updated when more information becomes available.

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