Nearly three dozen residents were left homeless after a fire at an Irving apartment complex Monday night.
Irving officials said firefighters were called to the 1200 block of North Britain just after 10 p.m.
Residents said the fire started outside of the building at the back fence, then spread quickly, claiming the entire building.
Some residents tried in vain to douse the flames with fire extinguishers before the fire jumped to the apartment complex, but they proved to be too hot and too powerful.
“The fire didn’t start in the apartments, it was along the fence line. Neighbors came with fire extinguishers. Fire department got here. The whole building just went up in flames," resident Kendrick Shelton said.
The building, called the Britain Place Apartments, had all 16 units affected by the fire — 12 of which are described as a total loss.
Irving firefighters returned to the apartment complex around 5 a.m. Tuesday because the rubble was starting to smoke, and there were concerns that the flames could reignite. After watching the building for about 45 minutes, firefighters left.
The Red Cross is helping residents purchase new shoes, clothes and groceries. Some families are being put up in hotels for the next few days. Meanwhile, residents are trying to cope with the fire's destruction.
“The Red Cross is here, and they’re doing what they can do to help us. But where do we go from here? We lost everything. Where do we go? I’m lost. I don’t know what to do now," Shelton said.
There were no injuries reported.