Families lose homes to apartment fire

January 1, 2010 8:47:55 PM PST
Several families started the new year losing almost everything they owned in a devastating apartment fire in northwest Harris County. The flames started Friday morning off Ella and Kuykendahl and residents are now struggling to come to grips with what happened.

Standing outside in the cold watching arson investigators sift through what remains of the place he once called home is not how Jeffrey Alexander imagined he'd start the new year.

"There's nothing you can do, deal with it and pray the good Lord that something else comes through for us," he said.

A raging three-alarm fire destroyed six units at the apartment complex where Alexander and his family had lived for the past year.

"I see flames shooting. I saw flames and I had to get my family out and knock on the neighbors doors to get them out of there," said Alexander.

As the apartment building went up in flames, firefighters would soon learn this would not be an easy fire to tackle.

"We had pressure problems at the beginning of the fire," said Lt. Don Gilky with the Little York Volunteer Fire Department. "We called the local water department out to the location. They helped us out with supplying water and boosting the pressure."

Arson investigators say they're not sure what caused the fire to spread so quickly, but given the amount of debris that's left behind, they say this investigation will take some time.

Red Cross volunteers were on hand to offer assistance to those families displaced by the fire. While Alexander isn't sure what, if anything, can be saved, he's not too concerned. Personal possessions, he says, can be replaced. Family can't.

"I thank God everybody's safe. That's about it," said Alexander.

Firefighters haven't determined the actual cause of the fire yet. They're looking into the possibility it was related to fireworks.