Woman injured in 4-alarm River Oaks-area apartment fire

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One woman was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation due to an apartment fire in Houston.

As many as 30 apartments are damaged after a 4-alarm apartment fire overnight.

It happened at the Essexhouse Apartments near Essex and Weslayan in the River Oaks area around 1am.

Firefighters believe the fire started on the third floor.

A resident, David Herel, said he was awake in his apartment and then saw his neighbor's balcony on fire.

"We're lucky we got out of there," said David Herel, who lives in the apartments.

No word on what started the fire at this time. The fire spread quickly.

Firefighters had a difficult time accessing the back of the building. There is a parking garage in the back and firefighters couldn't get inside of it in their fire truck so they had to run hoses.

"There was a guy running around knocking on everyone's door, making sure they knew what was going on," said resident Riley Wyrick.

One woman was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation but is expected to be OK. No one else was hurt.

After the fire was out, firefighters went back inside apartments to recover any items they could for residents.

Paul Gruber and his wife waited anxiously as firefighters went back into their damaged apartment to look for their iguana, Leo.

Minutes later they were overjoyed when firefighters brought Leo out, alive and well.

"We're really happy, especially when you consider the extensive damage," said Gruber.

Wyrick has water damage to his unit, but he's thankful for his situation. Friends are helping him and his fiancée move out their belongings while they stay with friends and wait for repairs.

"Luckily we have a great group of friends and I know a lot of people here are worse off than we are and lost a lot more than we did," Wyrick said.
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