Two die in apartment complex fire


Fire investigators spent hours recovering the bodies of a man and woman in their early 60's after the early morning fire at the Greenhouse Patio Apartment complex off West Airport.

Houston Fire Department Spokesman Pat Trahan said it appears the pair may have tried to escape the flames by hiding in a closet. It's where their bodies were found around noon Monday.

"It is most likely that they attempted to escape the fire," Trahan said. "The fire started around 4:50; when the firefighters arrived on scene there was intense fire."

The fire spread quickly, engulfing 16 units and giving people little time to escape. One neighbor got out with her kids and her purse and says the flames were moving fast.

"They were like up to the ceiling; they were pretty big already," said Janet Ramirez, who escaped the fire.

Firefighters worked to put the flames out, but those who escaped got out with only the clothes on their backs. They stood by and watched as their homes were destroyed.

"We just ran out; I, my wife and my kids and mostly that's all," said Chijioke Ilochonwo, who also escaped the fire.

This afternoon, no residents lingered as fire investigators recovered the bodies of the couple who did not make it out. There's no word on the cause of the fire just yet because, a spokesman says, the couple who died are the first priority.

"Arson investigators are on the scene," Trahan said. "They will take care of the recovery process first before they try to get in-depth into the origin and cause of the fire."

Some of the couple's family members arrived there Friday morning. We're told they are now being helped by local pastors.

The apartment complex is relocating families to other units in the complex. The Red Cross is also helping the victims, as well as other families who lost their homes in eight other fires over the weekend.

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