A two-alarm fire that ripped through a Denton apartment building Tuesday, destroying one unit and damaging several others, has one North Texas couple looking to friends for help.
Flames broke out just before 3 p.m. in the 1400 block of Teasley Lane at the Woodhill Apartments. Witnesses said flames were shooting from the roof of the building.
Officials confirmed to NBC 5 that eight units in one building sustained fire and/or water damage.
A firefighter cut his hand, but he is expected to be OK.
No other injuries were reported.
Ashley Bean has called the apartment complex home for two years now, but the fire turned her home into a charred mess.
Bean said it's only through the help of others that she and her boyfriend aren't homeless right now.
Wednesday morning, Bean and boyfriend Jarrod Brooks got a first look at their unit since the fire that left them with very little.
Investigators with the Denton Fire Department say a discarded cigarette on the balcony of the couple's apartment sparked the fire that forced eight units to be evacuated and caused about $400,000 in damage.
Though several of the units took on some water and smoke damage, Bean's was a total loss.
"We're still kind of in shock. I don't really know what to feel," said Bean, after seeing the mess Wednesday morning. "It's definitely been hard, just to wake up and realize there's nothing there anymore."
She was at work when she got the call about the fire.
Bean said all of their possessions inside, clothes and even Christmas presents were destroyed.
For some time the couple's three cats were also missing and feared to have died in the blaze, but luckily rescuers found the animals and Bean said they're recovering.
"They crawled up in the bedspring of the mattress in the bedroom," she said. "They (firefighters) said it ventilated most of the air and that's what kept them alive."
Bean said that's the one bright spot in the incident: that everyone is OK. She's confident that in time they will recover but said it seems pretty bleak right now.
"I had $10 in my pocket after the fire," she said. "That's it."
However, her co-workers quickly banded together to get the couple clothes and provisions for at least a day.
Bean said the biggest help came from the American Red Cross, which has put them up in a nearby hotel while they make further arrangements.
"Without them, we'd probably be sleeping in the car right now," she said.
Friends have also started a GoFundMe page to help the couple recover.
The Denton Fire Department confirmed there was a fire at this same apartment complex back in 2009.