Several families lose homes to apartment fire

Fire officials believe the fire started from a fire place

January 8, 2010 12:09:04 PM PST
Investigators say a huge fire that sent several people out into the cold late last night started in a fire place. The fire broke out around 11pm at Palms Apartments on Cypress Station and FM 1960. At least eight families were forced from their homes, the flames wiping out their belongings.

Rick Morgan only had a few minutes to get out and he wasn't going anywhere without Rex, his German Shepherd.

"How did you know there was a fire?" we asked.

"At first, I didn't. I had my headphones on and was on my computer," he said. "I smelled smoke real bad and I went to see if it was my heater burning up, so I took my headphones off and I heard people banging on the door. I went outside and I looked on top and there was red hot, right through the window right there."

The fire started upstairs on the second floor. At least eight units were destroyed at the complex. Fire officials say the fire started in the apartment directly above Morgan's.

Meanwhile, Morgan was able to get out and Friday morning was sifting through what is left of his belongings. Other neighbors worry it could happen again.

"It's terrible. I hope they have renters' insurance. My husband and I we are going to look into it today because of all of this," said neighbor Tara Smith.

The fire was ruled accidental, starting in the fireplace. All of those residents displaced by the fire were placed into other apartments in the area. Fortunately, there were no injuries.