Irving Apartment Fire Leaves More Than 4 Dozen Homeless

Firefighters battled a large fire at an apartment complex off the President George Bush Turnpike in Irving Monday night.

The fire at the Arbors of Las Colinas in the 1000-block of San Jacinto Drive was reported at about 8:20 p.m. Firefighters from Irving, Dallas and Farmers Branch had the blaze under control after 10 p.m.

The fire destroyed the building's 22 units, leaving more than 56 residents homeless, according to fire officials.

"I was just sitting at my computer, after coming back from the gym, and I heard a kind of a bang and people running and something about a fire and I thought a car was on fire," said Jolene Cormier. "I looked out the window and I saw people running. Stepped out of my building and looked up and the whole thing was in flames and I just ran."

At least two other residents were forced to leap from their balconies to escape the flames before firefighters arrived, and four more people were rescued with a ladder from the fire department, according to the Battalion Chief.

Two residents were burned when they tried to return to their apartment after initially escaping the flames to retrieve personal items, according to an Irving Fire Department Battalion Chief. Paramedics treated five police officers at the scene for smoke inhalation, but they were released and allowed to return to work, fire officials told NBC 5.  There were no reports of anyone trapped in the fire, the fire department said.

American Red Cross officials will help displaced residents from the apartments that burned.  Meanwhile, some residents, like Cormier, have been getting assistance from neighbors.

"I was standing over by that building and I had no shirt, just a sports bra, no shoes. I was barefoot and some people came out, a nice couple, and gave me these shoes I got on and gave me a shirt. There were people looking for help and there were people jumping from the third floor," Cormier said. "I didn’t even have my wallet, I have no ID, I don’t have anything."

Investigators are trying to determine what sparked Monday night's blaze. Crews on Tuesday worked to demolish the burned-out remains.

NBC 5's Christine Lee, Scott Gordon and Ben Russell contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us