Two fires break out at SW Houston townhome building

Several families were displaced after a fire ripped through their complex in southwest Houston this morning.
May 15, 2013 10:29:53 AM PDT
Two fires at the same apartment complex in southwest Houston overnight are believed to have been accidental. Now, part of that complex has been torn down.

The first fire broke out at 2:15am at the building on Ormandy near Fondren. Just 45 minutes later, firefighters received another call. This time, a bigger fire was on the roof.

"My mom says she called the fire department after she smelled smoke and then the fire department came out," resident Tiara Willis said.

Officials explained how firefighters took care of the initial fire.

"We found a burned motor in the bathroom where the electrical appliance was faulty. We took it out, turned the power off. We told the homeowner not to turn the power back on until they spoke with the electricity or maintenance provider for the units," said HFD Captain Gregory Archie.

A short time later, residents called firefighters again but this time it was worse.

"The building was on fire. The flames were coming through the roof, about 10, 15 to 20 feet in the air," said Captain Archie. "There was a lot of smoke and a lot of heat."

Willis lived at the complex with her mother and claims her mother was never warned about the power, and isn't sure what they'll do next.

"They didn't turn the power off, and they didn't say we couldn't use the power or anything else." Willis said. "I don't know where we're going to go or anything. We don't have any family here. We don't have anything. Everything is gone."

At least two townhomes were seriously damaged. The townhome destroyed by the fire is being torn down after the City of Houston determined it was badly damaged and dangerous.

There were no serious injuries. The Red Cross is helping those displaced residents.

Arson investigators have ruled this fire accidental due to faulty wiring. HFD says arson investigators interviewed witnesses and were satisfied in ruling this fire an accident.

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