Two Fires, One Apartment Complex, Hours Apart

By Kendra Lyn
|  Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012  |  Updated 11:57 AM CDT
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Embers flared up overnight, starting a second fire at the  Las Cascadas Apartments in Dallas.

Kendra Lyn, NBC 5 News

Embers flared up overnight, starting a second fire at the Las Cascadas Apartments in Dallas.

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Crews Extinguish Fire, Reignites Overnight

A total of 15 families were affected by a Dallas apartment fire that started Monday night and reignited overnight.
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A Dallas apartment fire that initially started Monday night, reignited early Tuesday morning.

The fire first tore through Las Cascadas Apartments on the 9300-block of Skillman Street at about 7:30 p.m. Monday.  Firefighters battled the four-alarm blaze for 90 minutes before getting it under control.

Firefighters were back at the complex just a few hours later to battle the second fire after crews said embers from the first fire flared up.

Crews are still investigating what caused the initial blaze that left 15 families without homes.

“Just to see this building we live in is half-way destroyed, it sucks.  It really does,” said fire victim Jasmine White.

It’s tough for White to look at what’s left of her apartment building that’s been ravaged by fire twice.  White’s home has been heavily damaged by smoke.  A dozen units are destroyed.

The flames spread so fast that residents said they had to run for their lives.

“The cops came banging, ‘Dallas Police! Get out, there’s a fire!’  We had to hurry up and leave, couldn’t grab anything,” White said.  “We look over here and it’s just a glow.  Come over here and there’s flames shooting out.”

Everyone safely escaped.

“Thank God we’re alive, because I was in there sleeping.  I kept hearing someone say, ‘Get out, get out, get out!’  Look out the door, seen a big ole’ blaze and said, ‘This apartment’s on fire’”! said George Green.

“The first floor it started, then the second floor, then the third, it was really bad,” said neighbor Benito Mercado.

Around 12:40 a.m. Tuesday, firefighters were called back out to the complex and discovered smoke billowing from the three-story apartments.

“Just looking at this building, I’m glad they got out and hope these apartments can give us somewhere to live,” said White.

The Red Cross is helping those residents by providing clothing, food, and shelter from the bitter cold.

“The Red Cross stepped up to help.  This is the time of year we need help.  Thank you, God, no one was hurt.  Pick up and go from there,” said neighbor Jessie Lyles.

“They lost a lot.  It’s right at Christmas time.  I feel for them.  My heart and my prayers go out to them,” said neighbor Portia Sims.

The Red Cross said the Las Cascadas fire is the fifth fire they assisted with in North Texas in just seven hours. They urge people to be careful with holiday decorations, space heaters and chimney fires this time of year. The holiday season is the worst time of year for house fires.
 

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