Firefighters rescue dog from townhome fire

June 23, 2010 10:20:21 AM PDT
A lightning strike from Tuesday's storms is being blamed for a huge fire at some townhomes in the Galleria area. Firefighters had to take different routes than usual to get to the West Greenridge Townhomes. Flooding led to heavy traffic along Richmond Avenue. Once firefighters arrived, they had to pull out because ammunition went off in some of the burning townhomes.

One of the residents, Dan Green, just hoped firefighters could rescue his dog.

"I was freaking out," Green said. "I got the phone call from my neighbor and she said our houses are on fire, and I said, 'Can somebody rescue my dog?'"

Worried about his dog, Green, a teacher, left work immediately. Fortunately, firefighters were able to rescue Green's dog and he caught firefighters with his dog seconds after the pet was rescued.

Strong storms blamed for fires, flooding

Flood and fires: the pop-up storms that are so common this time of year sparked some serious and dangerous problems began this evening near West Greenridge and Richmond Avenue in the Galleria area.

Five hours after firefighters responded to a blaze at southwest Houston apartment complex, they were still there talking to residents.

Neighbors said lightning was the culprit behind the fire, saying they have the evidence in the parking lot to prove it.

A two-alarm fire at the apartment complex came with all sorts of problems during rush hour Tuesday afternoon.

"I was standing outside, and I saw it hit over here," witness Val Mendoza said.

Several residents said the lightning downed a tree at West Greenridge town homes also sparked the fire on the second floor.

"Right after the lightning happened, that's when the smoke started happening," witness Harry Toby said.

Seconds after, other residents started smelling the smoke.

"I went outside and I just started banging on the doors, got all the neighbors out," Mendoza said.

The firefighters began their response and some crews were rerouted as flooded streets created heavy traffic on Richmond Avenue.

Once firefighters arrived and started a primary search, they were met with the sound of gunfire from burning units.

"We had a few explosions and ammunitions going off," Houston Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Alexander said. "They basically commanded to pull the firefighters out."

As neighbors started shooting cell phone video, they also started contacting fellow neighbors.

If all those problems weren't enough, firefighters battling the blaze responded to a second fire that erupted a few miles away at a town home complex. They said that lightning also played a part in that fire.

No one was injured in either fire.


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