Two-alarm fire destroys apartment complex

May 4, 2011 10:30:31 AM PDT
A building that housed eight apartments at a southwest Houston complex may have to be torn down after fire heavily damaged that building overnight. Heavy fire broke out at the two-story apartment building at the El Paraiso Apartments on Corporate near Hendon. You can see from the backside of the building that Wednesday morning's fire did extensive damage -- so much so that a portion of the building will likely have to be demolished sometime soon. The fire marshal determined the building is a threat for the residents if it stays up, but the building's owner has stepped in to help rectify the situation.

No one was seriously hurt, although one person was sent to the hospital as a precaution for treatment for smoke inhalation. Families were caught unaware at about 3:45am when fire began to eat away at the apartment building.

Resident Vanessa Pisano recalled, "The boys, like mama, mama, wake up, wake up. When I see out my window, I see all the fires, the fire department. It had really started. It was big already."

"There's a lot of stuff you can't really replace, like pictures, all the stuff we had, but like I said, just start over," said resident Juve Alvear.

The Red Cross is on hand to assist at least six families. Two of the apartments were vacant.

In addition to the eight apartments that were destroyed, the other units sustained smoke and water damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by arson officials.

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