16 apartments damaged in 3-alarm fire in NW Harris County

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16 apartments damaged in 3-alarm fire

More than a dozen families are homeless after a fire ripped through an apartment complex on Blue Bell Drive in northwest Harris County.

It happened around 4am at The Meadows apartment complex. Building 17 is ruined but everyone survived, thanks to those who saw the flames then rushed to save their neighbors.

PHOTOS: Images from massive fire in NW Harris Co.

Resident Lois Gutierrez said, "I heard a loud noise so I jumped out of bed and looked out the window and I saw the sky just looked orange."

Popping sounds first alerted residents in building 17 of the Meadows Apartment Complex something was wrong. When they opened their doors flames filled the night sky.

Resident Luciana McCall said, "Got my kids out and I started beating on the neighbor's door, and we was beating on the door and my husband was beating on the people's door upstairs."

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Eyewitness News is over the fire in northwest Harris County with SkyEye HD with the latest information

Those lucky enough to wake up then ran to help their neighbors.

Dontell Williams says his brother cut his hand breaking out a window to get neighbors to safety.

Williams said, "He was knocking screaming, 'Hey there is fire", running doors, making sure just people tried to get up out of their house."

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Jeff Ehling and Courtney Fischer report on a fire that devastated an apartment complex in NW Harris County

Firefighters say 16 units are destroyed, and 16 families are left homeless.

The people who got out say there was only time to save themselves.

Resident Alexis Reynoso said, "We just grabbed our kids, we have family in from out of town and we just got everybody out as soon as we could."

Residents say it only took a matter of minutes for the fire to consume the entire building.

Fidel Rodriguez said, "It didn't take very much time for it to get like this, I mean all across the building it was already smoking so I am guessing the fire was already underneath all of it."

The Red Cross is giving vouchers to the families left homeless by the fire. Unfortunately, there are no vacant units at this complex so those who have lost everything will have it find a new place to live.

Arson investigators are going through the building to find an official cause for the start of the fire.
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newsfireapartment fireHarris County
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