Nearly 40 people need a new place to live, after a fire tore through their apartment complex Monday morning.
The fire started just before 5 a.m. in the Hunter’s Court apartments off Spring Valley Road in Northeast Dallas.
It was a tough battle for firefighters and even tougher for residents to watch the flames destroy everything they own.
“I was asleep and heard real faint beeping sounds,” said resident Jennifer Ehnot.
She thought her children's toys woke her up. It was the sound of another neighbor’s smoke alarm.
“I opened my door and saw all the smoke coming in, and a lady yelling, “Fire, fire!” And a girl was downstairs screaming,” said Ehnot.
“I saw the smoke, when she woke me up,” said Ehnot’s 9-year-old son, Jacoby. “I started getting scared.”
Jacoby, his little brother and mom scrambled to safety, so did more than three dozen other residents.
Rescuers searched to make sure everyone escaped as neighbors helplessly watched as flames spread quickly from one side of the building to the other.
“I have baby pictures gone, trophies, sentimental things that can’t be replaced,” Ehnot said.
There were some tense moments as crews sounded the mayday alarm for a missing firefighter. It’s been less than a month after firefighter Stanley Wilson died battling another Dallas apartment fire.
This time, the missing firefighter was found just minutes later.
“What it seems like is because of recent events, there may have been heightened precautions. That firefighter was found and that firefighter is OK,” said Jason Evans, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesperson.
A firefighter had to be treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. A woman with asthma was taken to the hospital for breathing problems because of the smoke.
The fire is forcing the Ehnots to start from scratch. The family didn’t have renter’s insurance and was just two weeks away from moving into a new house.
“It’s pretty upsetting. At least we’re out alive and everyone’s OK,” said Ehnot.
Apartment managers are working to move residents to other vacant units in the complex or at other properties. The Red Cross is also helping the displaced families.
Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.