The fire was burning at the Bradford Apartments on Galveston Road at El Dorado.
People in 20 apartments were displaced. Three units were destroyed by fire and smoke, and authorities are looking into whether a resident was cooking meth.
Joey Perkins could do nothing but watch as his apartment was destroyed by fire. Houston firefighters worked to put out hot spots. He was there when it was raging.
"I'm sitting there cooking dinner and next thing you know they're saying, 'There's a fire! There's a fire!' So I step out and look on the other side, thinking there's maybe a barbecue pit on fire. No, the whole apartment is on fire," he said.
SkyEye HD showed us smoke from miles away, and those returning home feared the worst.
"I was just happy it wasn't my wife. I was worried about her, she was home," resident Nick Renteria said.
Eyewitnesses tell us the man in the third floor unit jumped from the balcony to escape. He broke his leg and had burns to his face. Arson investigators are looking into whether he is to blame, whether he was cooking methamphetamine when the fire started.
"Yes it is a possibility, yes," Houston Fire Department Deputy Chief John Douglas said.
And just in case, HAZMAT crews were called to the scene to mitigate any chemicals.
Perkins lived here with his girlfriend and their 2-year-old son. All got out OK, but starting from scratch is overwhelming.
"My apartment is ruined. All my stuff is ruined. All my stuff is wet. I have no place to put my head down tonight," he said.
A drug-sniffing dog has been brought in as part of the investigation.
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