2 Dead in 5-Alarm Fire at Senior Apartment Complex

Authorities said they found two people dead and several others injured after a fire at a North Dallas apartment complex for senior citizens Wednesday morning.

The five-alarm apartment fire started at about 2:10 a.m. in a fourth-floor unit at the Gatewood Apartments in the 6000 block of Ridgecrest Road.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said two bodies were found in the residence where the fire started.

Evans said the fire wasn't very large, but they escalated the response to five alarms because the complex houses nearly 300 residents, many of whom needed extra assistance escaping.

Firefighters even rescued residents from balconies to prevent hallways from crowding.

"We have a lot of wheelchairs and stretcher-bound people," Evans said.

Officials said five people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, but are expected to be OK. Crews treated many others at the scene.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Gatewood Apartments manager Sheana Thomas said staff at the complex are searching for new homes for the residents.

"We are trying to make sure that everyone who has been displaced has a place go to," Thomas said. Gatewood is a community for seniors but does not provide assisted living services.

The American Red Cross was also providing help

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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