A major Dallas city block was closed for hours on Sunday night after a fire ripped through a two-story home and sent one man to the hospital.
A resident tells NBC 5 that the fire started in the basement and spread from there. Bradley Duke estimates the home is 75 to 100 years old and is completely made of wood. The home is at 4923 Gaston Avenue.
Duke says he felt like a massive fire like the one Sunday was only a matter of time at the building that housed 10 people in four bedrooms.
"I'll admit I've broken down and cried two or three times, everytime I realized that this is happening," Duke said.
Duke stood in the cold for several hours and watched as his home went up in flames.
I've lived here for a year and a half," he said. "I don't know where to go."
The four alarm fire started around 5:40 p.m. Sunday, just as Duke was returning home from dinner with his grandmother.
Dallas Fire Rescue says 70 to 90 firefighters were on scene working the fire. Extra crews were needed for an aggressive offensive attack inside the home, which was later scaled back.
The cold temperatures and difficult fire also required a fourth alarm, so crews could be rotated in and out. Viewer video sent to NBC 5 showed how bad the flames were at times during the fire fight.
"It was very difficult to get to the fire with overgrown trees and the obstacles in the front," said Jason Evans, Dallas Fire Rescue spokesman. "On the sides of the structure we did have to cut through some fencing."
During the offensive attack inside the home fire crews found one of the residents inside. The man, only identified as Charlie by Duke, suffered minor smoke inhalation but was taken to a hospital. Duke said the older man was able to walk to the ambulance with some assistance.
The smoke was so thick at times you could barely see firefighters perched overhead from ladder trucks dousing the flames, which eventually knocked the fire down.
"I've never seen so much smoke in my life," said Joseph Rose, who lives down the street. "I've been to bonfires and stuff like that, but I've never seen that much smoke come from a fire."
It's the kind of fire that drew countless people to watch, but one Duke, sadly, felt could happen here.
"I've been thinking that for about a year," he said. "I thought something was going to catch fire on the second floor, that's where everyone is. Thought the (electrical) wires were going to go."
Duke says he was concerned with how many tenants the landlord kept adding and that the breakers continuously blew out inside the house. But whatever caused the, Duke now needs a new place to stay.
"It's just stuff, stuff can be replaced," he said. "All the people got out, nobody died."
The American Red Cross is assisting all ten of the people who lived at the home. Dallas Fire-Rescue says all ten were accounted for, including the injured man.
Firefighters said the pile of rubble is so massive and deep they were concerned about the possibility of smoldering ash. They spent about 20 minutes watering down the rubble Monday morning.
Residents say the fire began in the basement and then spread, but firefighters say because of the damage, the investigation will take quite some time.