August 4, 2014
Houston Fire: 368 Unit Apartment Complex Goes Up In Flames

A massive fire in Houston, Texas on Tuesday afternoon saw a 368 unit apartment complex under construction go up in flames. Firefighters fought for many hours in an attempt to get the massive blaze under control.

The fire started at around 12:30 pm in the 2400 block of West Dallas near Montrose; it was declared "under control" by the Houston Fire Department at 2:56 pm.

It took more than 200 firefighters from 80 units to fight the Houston fire, and the five-story apartment complex was totally destroyed; fortunately no injuries were reported.

A local resident, Blake Rudow, who lives down the street from the 2400 block, said that the wind conditions assisted the fire: "At one point the wind was blowing so hard the water wasn't getting to the fire," he said.

An employee at Stages Repertory Theater, Mark Ivy, said: "We saw the flames jump (from the complex) to the apartments where people are living," he said.

Glen Telge, president of the cemetery, said about the Houston fire: "The cemetery, as far as I know, has no protection from fires. It's not something we'd ever see being in our future. We'd never envisioned apartments being built around two sides of the cemetery."

He said the cemetery was founded in 1884: "It's a historic Texas cemetery and there are a lot of notable burials in the cemetery. The most notable is Gus Wortham. Other family names are Telge, Bammel and Halliburton."

Vinceanne Mandola. whose family owns Vincent's and Nino's in the 2700 block, said: "We were having a really busy lunch when we started seeing smoke. It started clearing out really fast. People were worried. It was a quick lunch service."

He added: "You can see just a sea of debris around the restaurants."

Local teams are trying to ascertain what ignited the blaze.