Lightning may be to blame for apartment complex fire

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Firefighters told Eyewitness News they suspect lightning sparked an apartment fire Sunday night in Northwest Harris County.

Flames tore through the "Retreat at Steeplechase" just after 8 PM on West Road and Steeple Way Boulevard, leaving four families without a home and destroying many of their belongings.

Witnesses said it was raining at the time. They heard thunder and saw a big flash of lightning. Investigators said they believe the lightning hit the apartment's chimney.

"We heard the lightning strike and we were like, there is something near and we started smelling the fire right away and we came out and sure enough the apartments is on fire," said nearby resident Kourtney Llamas. "The smoke was all directed towards one way and we were freaking out, wondering if the family is out. The ambulance and the fire trucks couldn't get in. They had to cut the gates open. It was crazy."

Cy-Fair firefighters said one of their own suffered smoke inhalation. Paramedics took him to the hospital.
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