Apartment Fire Displaces Dozens in Dallas

By Kendra Lyn
|  Thursday, Jan 16, 2014  |  Updated 12:34 PM CDT
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Investigators are looking into the possibility that someone intentionally started an apartment fire that forces dozens of residents from their homes at the North Park Terrace Apartments in northeast Dallas early Thursday morning.

Kendra Lyn, NBC 5 News

Investigators are looking into the possibility that someone intentionally started an apartment fire that forces dozens of residents from their homes at the North Park Terrace Apartments in northeast Dallas early Thursday morning.

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Investigators are looking into the possibility someone may have intentionally started a devastating apartment fire in Dallas on Thursday morning.

It forced dozens of residents from their homes at the Northpark Terrace Apartments on Eastridge Drive in Northeast Dallas.

Investigators arrived at apartment complex Thursday morning determine what may be to blame for the fire. The upper portion of the building could collapse, because of the damage. So, investigators are waiting for demolition equipment to remove at least part of the charred shell.

The fire damaged or destroyed eight apartments. Residents who have lost everything want answers.

“She woke us up screaming, “There's a fire.  There's a fire!’”  Kaitlyn Anton woke up to a nightmare.  Her mom frantic as their apartment filled with smoke.

“I opened the front door and the smoke rolled in immediately,” said Marsha Fleming.  “I said, ‘Everybody, everybody, get up! There’s a fire!  We gotta get out of here!”’

The family and other residents made it out of the fast moving fire, but fear their pets did not.

“It was just a bunch of smoke pushing towards us.  My grandma barely made it out because she walks slow,” said Anton.

“We have two dogs and three cats, and we don't know if they're okay.  All of our stuff is gone,” said Anton.

Crews tried to fight the fire from inside, but it rapidly spread through the wood-framed complex.

“Quickly the fire was able to get to the second floor and up into the attic,” said Jason Evan from Dallas Fire Rescue.

Firefighters chopped away at hot spots. Families watched from the curb in the cold as the fire ravaged their homes. Ultimately, crews flooded the flames from above using a ladder truck.

As resident try to pick up the pieces of their lives, they hope investigator piece together what caused this.

Investigators say the fire started on the first floor. In an apartment, where Fleming believes her neighbors were not home.

“It had already started downstairs, and their front door was open downstairs. Somebody, I believe went in there and started a fire," said Fleming.

The Red Cross is helping the displaced residents making sure they have a safe place to stay, food and warm clothes.

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