Crews were called to Wilcrest Park Townhomes on Wilcrest Drive at Spice Lane around 6:45pm, but they soon discovered this was not a quick and easy fire on their hands.
According to the Houston Fire Department, flames were fast-moving due to high winds, making it difficult for them to fight the blaze. From one minute to the next, the wind agitated the flames. More than 100 firefighters responded.
The fire prompted HFD to request that Centerpoint Energy shut off power in the area. Accoring to Centerpoint, about 500 homes and businesses were affected in addition to motorists in the area dealing with traffic backups.
There was still a lot of residual chaos surrounding the scene hours after the fire erupted.
HFD officials tell us 20 apartment units were damaged or destroyed in the fire and multiple families have been displaced.
The Red Cross was on hand Saturday night to assist those families. But there is only so much they can do for families like Victor Balandra and his two boys, ages seven and two.
"Pretty much, I have nothing left, except, well, what we're wearing right now," Balandra said. "That's all we got."
There is no word yet on what caused the blaze. Arson is investigating.