FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Five people were hurt while escaping from a burning apartment complex in Fort Worth early Wednesday morning. The fire was first reported shortly before 5:30 a.m. at the La Jolla Terrace Apartments, located in the 1300 block of Alexis Avenue, just north of Interstate-30 in the city’s far east side.
The blaze included three buildings and 24 units within the complex, with at least 12 of those units now completely destroyed.
Most of the residents were sleeping at the time of the fire. Neighbors scrambled to wake each other up before firefighters arrived. “I woke up, the front door was full on fire, smoke coming underneath,” said Morrell Bouligny. “So, I got up and got my friend and told her the apartment was on fire.”
One of the fire’s victims said that his door was melting as he was trying to get outside. The situation was so severe that he was unable to rescue a number of his pets from the flames.
Emergency officials at the scene had first reported as many as seven injuries. That total was then reduced after everyone was found safe.
All of those who were hurt received only minor injuries, sustained while trying to reach safety. Two victims were taken to a nearby hospital after they jumped from the second story of a building. Another two victims were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. A fifth victim was treated by a paramedic at the scene for a minor arm burn.
Firefighters had the blaze under control after about an hour. The cause of the fire is now under investigation. The American Red Cross is helping out the 35 residents who have been displaced.
Traffic along the interstate slowed down just as rush hour was beginning, as drivers watched the intense flames and smoke floating overhead.
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