Major fire results in significant damage to Texas apartment complex

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An apartment complex in Tyler, Smith County, Texas, incurred substantial damage during a major fire on Wednesday evening. Fire authorities were forced to close Shiloh Road, a busy street which runs adjacent to the complex, for several hours while multiple city units fought to douse the blaze. Eye witnesses report that screams of animals and people were heard. A local news source described the blaze as “massive”, adding that while no-one was injured during the blaze, one cat was killed. One witness told a local news agency: “It engulfed it pretty quick. It’s amazing to see how quick a fire can go like that. It just started on one end and took over.”

8 apartment units were reportedly totally destroyed in the incident. Initial reports indicate that the fire started in an upstairs apartment and spread rapidly. Local medical personnel were alerted to expect a large number of casualties. A woman, who lives in the neighboring apartment complex and was present during much of the event, spoke to Wikinews on the condition of anonymity. “It was unbelievable,” she said. “There were firetrucks and police cars everywhere. It was the biggest fire I’ve ever seen.”

Fire officials have stated that they believe the cause of the fire may have been faulty wiring, adding that there was no evidence to suggest arson. On Thursday morning, local news outlet KLTV reported that many residents of the complex praised the fast and aggressive response of local firefighters. 61-year-old Cecile Hughston said that she was in her home about one block from the fire when she saw the flames. She said: “I was inside my house and I could see the flames, they were stretching up toward the sky. I was terrified.” Multiple clean-up workers were present at the complex on Thursday morning and the damaged building was cordoned off with police tape.

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