Residents Reflect After Fatal Arlington Apartment Fire
ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Robert White can only stare in disbelief at what’s left of the Tanglewood Apartments.
“I live right there – or I did,” he said, pointing at a downstairs unit, charred by fire.
He was fast asleep on his couch Saturday when firefighters burst in as flames engulfed the entire building.
“They woke me up and there was fire coming through the roof,” he said.
White now says he has nowhere to go, and yet he is one of the lucky ones. A woman and an 11-year-old girl died in the blaze.
His neighbor, Pedro Mendoza, is still overcome with emotion, standing in front of his home.
Upstairs lived 11-year-old Erica Joyner, a girl whose baby pictures now line the ground.
“It’s a feeling of powerlessness,” he said
Mendoza claims he tried to warn firefighters Erica was home.
“The girl – she could have been rescued,” he said.
She died alone in her bedroom.
In another apartment, firefighters also found the body of 29-year-old Kim Moore, an assistant manager for the complex.
“People was running, jumping off the building – and everything,” said Bill Turpin, a neighbor who watched the fire break out.
Turpin said, it all erupted so quickly that one man ran out covered in flames.
“His clothes were burning, his socks were burning, his shoes were burning,” said Turpin.
The Arlington Fire Department is investigating, trying to figure out what started the fire.
Neighbors suspect a pair of boys they spotted earlier that day.
“Playing with matches on the stairwell, and they had something that started the fire. Some chemical. They poured it on the stairs,” said White.
Firefighters couldn’t confirm those claims, but they are concerned about how quickly the flames spread, leaving people with little time to escape.