Six families lose homes to apartment fire

February 17, 2008 5:25:00 AM PST
Several families were forced out of their homes by a fast moving fire. One woman says she wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for the work of a good Samaritan.

Flames torched several units at the Chelsea Row apartments on Dairy Ashford near Cook in southwest Houston Saturday morning.

While it didn't take long for Houston firefighters to get the upper hand, the damage had already been done. Fast moving flames nearly destroyed four units and two others fell victim to smoke and water, including Wednesday Uvalle's apartment.

"I didn't believe it until I started smelling the smoke," she said.

Uvalle and her daughter were asleep when she heard a knock at the door. It was Anna Perez, a homeowner in the neighborhood, who saw the flames and sprung into action.

"I called 911, knocked on every door, go out go out," said Perez.

"I didn't want to open the door but she woke us up. If it wasn't for her we would not be alive," said Uvalle.

Uvalle and her daughter fled to safety. Her elderly neighbor had to be rescued. Power to the damaged building has since been shut off. What's left inside, Uvalle can't say for sure. Either way, she says she's grateful.

"She saved our life. We would have been dead," said Uvalle.

They may have lost their belongings, but the families displaced by the fire will have a place to stay. The Red Cross is working on that right now as fire investigators continue to search for a cause.

No one was hurt. Firefighters say six families have been displaced.

Arson investigators spent much of the day sifting through debris.

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