Young boy helps Pasadena firefighters evacuate residents from burning apartment complex

PASADENA, TX (KTRK) -- At least 6 Pasadena resident are without homes following an overnight fire at an apartment building on the 500 block of Richey Ave.

When firefighter arrived they found some residents still in the breezeway and stairwells of the burning building. The blaze was captured on a bystander's cell phone camera.

Firefighters have credited a brave young boy for helping residents escape.

11-year-old Juan Walker said he was playing outside when he saw black smoke pouring out of a second story unit.

"I went and knocked on the door. And when they came to the door the stove was on fire so my friends and I told them to get out We we're trying to get water and throw it on the fire," Walker said.

The fire chief said that six units were torched by the fire, and two others damaged by water and smoke.

Firefighters cleared the scene early Tuesday morning. But by 7am, several hot spots flared up and firefighters were called back to the scene.

"We anticipated that we'd be back," said Pasadena Fire Chief Lanny Armstrong.

Chief Armstrong said hot spots are not uncommon in these types of fires. He also said this blaze presented unique challenges.

Residents have complained that the fire could have been extinguished sooner had firefighters not run out of water.

"This apartment complex doesn't have any hydrants. It has a house hydrant which is maintained by the apartment building. House hydrants like the one we used are often unreliable. As a result, we had to look for alternate hydrants. Our firefighters had lay 1900 feet of hose from hydrants further away in order to get water on this fire," Chief Armstrong said.

To put that in perspective, firefighters had to extend their hoses more than 500 yards -- the equivalent of more than five football fields -- in order to douse the flames.

By late Tuesday morning, firefighters finished putting out hot spots. The Red Cross is assisting displaced residents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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