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Fire Rips Through East Dallas Apartment Complex

Madeline Schmitt & Brian New | CBSDFW.com |
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A four-alarm fire that broke out around 3:24 a.m. Saturday at the Mayan Palms Apartments on Hunnicut Road in Dallas has displaced at least 50 residents.

The two-story apartment fire began after a man on the first floor left candles burning while he slept, Dallas Fire-Rescue officials say.

The man didn’t have electricity in his apartment, Section Chief JC Adams said.

He woke up to a burning smell and tried to put out the flames, but was unsuccessful. That’s when he evacuated the building.

The fire grew to a four-alarm attack for the 72 responding firefighters, as the flames crossed from one building to another.

A partial roof collapse occurred on both buildings, but firefighters were able to put out the blaze in about an hour and a half.

Officials say a total of 36 units were destroyed in the fire, 10 of which were vacant at the time.

One female resident was taken to a Parkland Hospital for burn injuries to her feet and legs, and a firefighter received a minor elbow injury.

Three people were originally reported missing when the fire broke out, but one man has since been found.

It is unknown if the other two people were present when the fire started. Investigators say cadaver dogs were unable to find any traces of human remains among the burned complex.

The American Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Samuel Grand Recreation Center at 6200 East grand Avenue to help those displaced by the fire.

JB Bass was inside his apartment when he awoke to a shattering sound — it was the heat breaking his windows.

Bass tells CBS 11 News that he’s luck his apartment is one of the few still standing.

Officials say both buildings engulfed by the fire will have to be torn down completely, as they cannot be repaired.

Kenneth Easter, another resident, said he ran out of his apartment without a shirt on his back.

“The only thing that I come out of the apartment with was these britches. No shirt on – no shoes – no thing,” he said.

Many of the residents lost everything the owned.

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