Fire rips through SW Houston apartments

August 2, 2010 9:37:44 AM PDT
A massive fire burned through an apartment complex in southwest Houston overnight. And as investigators search for what sparked this fire, several families are left looking for a new place to stay. The intense fire at the Central Park apartment complex on Gessner and Meadow Glen had neighbors running from door to door in the middle of the night, trying to warn each other about the danger.

"I came outside and we just saw flames in the air and we just ran out the house," said one resident with whom we spoke.

Reignie Sybrandt and her fiancé were stuck underneath a rainbow of flames.

"You could just see the apartments were going up in flames and going up into the trees and the coming back down on the other side in flames," said Sybrandt.

While firefighters managed to block it from spreading too far, the fire destroyed at least 10 apartments, including Takwi Annoh's. He wasn't prepared to come home to this.

"I just came here," he told us. "I was in jail. I just got out today."

We were with Annoh as he got a first look at his burned apartment, still sopping from the water used to extinguish the blaze.

The Red Cross was on hand to assist people now homeless, and to help them salvage what they can.

It took crews an hour and a half to kill the flames, partly because of the layout of the complex.

"If you could see this from overhead, you'll see that building is surrounded by other buildings. It's right in the middle of them," said Asst. Chief Jack Williams with the Houston Fire Department

As Sybrandt and her neighbors spent Saturday relocating to empty apartments on the other side of the complex, they count their blessings, everyone got out OK.

"We're very, very lucky," she said. "Very lucky."

Arson hasn't ruled on the cause of the fire. Investigators are still interviewing witnesses, but no one has been arrested.


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