DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Fire crews responded to a two-alarm blaze at an apartment complex in Dallas early Monday morning. It happened at about 3:15 a.m. at the Park Ninety Six 90 Apartments, located in the 9600 block of Forest Lane, near Audelia Road. Heavy smoke and flames were showing when officials first arrived at the scene.
According to witness Octavius Ross, the fire started on a lower level patio. “I was coming home from the club and I spotted the fire,” he said. “I jumped the gate and started knocking on doors.”
Residents had no idea that their building was on fire. “All I could do is beat on the doors and try to get everybody out as quick as I can,” Ross said. “They were shocked. They thought somebody was trying to break in.”
“I was sleeping, and I heard somebody pounding on the door,” recalled resident Sandra Dorfour. She was able to get out of the two-story building, but lost her beloved family pet.
Ross explained that he first passed the fire, not knowing what he was seeing. But he felt compelled to go back. “I could’ve kept going, but, by me having a good heart, I turned back around when I seen the fire. I didn’t know what it was, I just did my best to get everyone out.”
At least 10 apartment units were damaged by the blaze, including the home of Ashley Hill. She lost everything. “All I know is, this man here came beating on my door,” Hill said. “I grabbed my kids.” Because of Ross, she added, her family walked away with their lives.
No firefighters were hurt during this incident, but one man was injured while escaping and transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas for treatment. He is expected to be okay. At least two other people were treated at the scene and have already been released.
“I’m just glad that everybody is out,” Ross added. “It was hard for some people to get up. I’m glad that the ended up getting up and I saved a lot of people’s lives.”
At this point, the fire has been knocked down. Crews remained at the scene Monday morning to monitor the burned building for potential hot spots and keep residents away while an investigation is conducted. The cause of the apartment fire is still not yet known. The American Red Cross is helping out at least 20 people who lost their homes.