Early-Morning 4-Alarm Fire Displaces Dozens

By Frank Heinz
|  Monday, Apr 19, 2010  |  Updated 9:39 AM CDT
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Dozens are left homeless after a fire rips through a <a title=Dallas apartment building." />

Dozens are left homeless after a fire rips through a Dallas apartment building.

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An early-morning fire at the Aspen Chase Apartments in Dallas has left nearly 100 people without a home, fire officials say.

The four-alarm fire broke out inside the three-story building on the 11700 block of Ferguson Road at about 1 a.m. Within one hour, the fire had escalated to four alarms.

Responding firefighters said they could see the flames from more than a half-mile away as they approached the building.

Firefighters said once the flames reached the attic space, the fire spread rapidly in both directions, engulfing the entire roof of the building.

Battling the massive fire, as well as high winds, firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings and a neighboring complex.

In all, 24 units were left uninhabitable, officials said, and between 90 and 100 people were displaced. The American Red Cross, who believes the number of displaced people to be much lower than the fire department's estimate, is assisting those in need.

Anita Foster with the Red Cross said they have identified 24 people who have been displaced, and depending on the number of available units at the complex they may be forced to seek shelter elsewhere.

"We just glad that they got out. The stuff that they lost can be replaced, but they life can't be replaced. That's the most important thing. We're grateful for that," said resident Tyrone Gaines.

All of the residents are believed to have escaped the fire without serious injury, though one female resident was transported to Baylor Medical Center in Garland for an unspecified reason.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

NBC DFW's Lindsay Wilcox contributed to this report.

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