Neighbors spring into action to save residents from apartment fire in SW Houston

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One man told ABC13 he awoke from his sleep to find his neighbor in a state of panic after his apartment caught fire. (KTRK)

Arson investigators are trying to figure out what sparked a fire at a southwest Houston apartment complex.

Firefighters arrived just after 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Terreza West apartment complex on Forum West Drive.

This is where Amer Bader was sound asleep before a commotion outside led to a rude awakening.

"I heard someone shouting. I went outside and it was my neighbor, so he was yelling and I think he was on the phone with the police," Bader said.

WATCH: Firefighters battle fire at Terreza West apartments
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Raw video from outside the Terreza West apartment complex in southwest Houston shows firefighters working against high wind to put out the blaze.

The fire quickly engulfed the top floor, leaving little time to get out.

Together, Bader and his neighbor knocked on doors as they climbed down the steps to the bottom floor, hoping to save lives.

Firefighters contained most of the fire within 20 minutes.

"The fire was trying to come this way, and the wind actually helped keep it to the other side," said HFD District Chief Deena Elliott.

When the smoke cleared, 24 families were left without a home but no one was hurt.

"I have my interview actually for my citizenship on the 24th, and I've lost everything," Bader said. "But maybe they'll help me out."

SKYEYE13: Video from above shows intensity of apartment fire
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Raw video from SkyEye13 shows the destruction left behind after a fire erupted at a southwest Houston apartment complex.

PHOTOS: Fire destroys apartment units in SW Houston
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