Residents evacuate as Crosby apartments erupt in flames

CROSBY, TX (KTRK) -- Investigators are working to determine how a two-alarm apartment fire started early this morning in Crosby.

Crews are at the Crosby Plaza Apartments on FM 2100, where an office building and a residential building erupted in flames.

When firefighters arrived around 4:30 a.m., they found a heavy fire coming from the two buildings.

Crosby Fire Department Capt. Sam Parker said the fire began in the office and spread to some units when the flames breached the common attic they shared.

A second alarm was pulled, and crews from Sheldon, Huffman, Highlands and Channelview Fire Departments arrived to help put the fire out.

Some neighbors pounded on doors, warning residents to escape as the fire engulfed the apartments. Firefighters also joined in the effort, evacuating residents at the complex.

Resident Joe Talamantes said he ran from door to door trying to wake up the neighbors. The flames, he said, were massive by the time firefighters arrived.

"Oh, they were pretty big," Talamantes said. "Could feel them from my apartment. Woke up my 12-year-old daughter to get out, and we got out of there quick."

Parker said live power lines were coming through the ceiling of the office, and at one point, several gas lines exploded. Firefighters had to get utilities turned off before they could fight the fire.

It was not immediately clear how the fire started, but investigators said it may have started in a laundry room located in the office building.

Talamantes told Eyewitness News he believes a homeless man may have sparked the fire to keep warm.

The man has reportedly been living in a unit for the past two weeks, and was found by firefighters after residents were evacuated.

Four residents were displaced after their units were damaged by smoke. The Red Cross has been called to assist the affected residents.

There were no injuries reported.

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