Residents displaced after fire rips through northwest Houston apartment complex


It happened just before 6:30pm on Wickchester near Wood Branch Park in northwest Houston.

The fire started on the third floor. The man who lives in the apartment says he looked out on his balcony and saw flames.

Letitia Davis lives across the hall from the burning apartment. She said she had enough time to get her daughter and dog out, and then she shot video of the flames.

"My boyfriend smelled smoke, so I thought it was coming from my apartment, and there was not, so he opened the door," Davis said. "As soon as he opened the door, smoke started coming in so I could not see anything."

Another resident, Mustafa Qayyum took video of the flames shooting into the air. Firefighters say the flames were fueled by high winds.

"When I came out and saw the smoke from the side of the building, and then I went around and came from the side of the sidewalk and came around and I could see flames on top of the building," Qayyum said.

Before firefighters arrived, residents raced door to door, warning neighbors of the flames and helping them to escape.

"I was just like, 'Fire, you've got to get out,' trying to grab people and physically grab people," Kory Owens said. "People were turning around, and I was like, 'No, you have to get out.'"

Owens and Jason Naile say they could hear the fire as it crackled and popped and knew instantly there was a problem.

"There was fire shooting in the air from the third story, so it was pretty intense," Naile said.

Firefighters called for extra help because the winds were feeding the flames, but they ended up getting the fire under control fairly quickly.

Officials tell us at least three units were damaged, possibly more, but no injuries were reported.

Arson investigators are looking into the cause of the blaze.

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