At least 30 people were displaced from their homes after a utility pole fell onto a large apartment complex, leading to a fire late Monday night in Dallas.
Nearly 100 firefighters from Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to the fire, which broke out about 11:44 p.m. at 18950 Lina Street in northern Dallas.
A utility pole was leaning against the south side of the three-story apartment building. A fire broke out within the floor spaces and attic. [[558420402,C]]
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Firefighters had to use hand tools to breach walls and ceiling floor spaces to gain access to the fire, Dallas Fire Rescue officials said. The fire was extinguished about 2:30 a.m.
Displaced residents said they want answers as to what caused the pole to fall.
"It was just so loud," resident Ramonda King said. "The neighbor was basically just saying, 'Oh, it's a fire!' Firefighters were all over the place saying, 'Clear the building! Clear the building!'"
Families at the Tivoli Apartments were shaken awake by a big bang followed by a knock on the door.
"I ran to the balcony and someone was pointing like, 'It's on your window! It's on your window! Get out,'" resident Lashauna Hadley said.
She said she grabbed her two small children, her husband and cell phone and began to record and captured a small explosion from the utility pole.
Dallas Fire-Rescue said electrical arching ignited combustible materials in the building.
By daylight, Oncor crews worked to safely remove the pole that fell onto the building.
The extent of the damage it caused came into view as residents rushed to save what they could from what used to be their home.
Many had one big question on their mind.
"How did it fall?" asked Hadley. "It's been there forever. I really don't know."
Residents said there were no storms rolling through at the time that might have brought down the pole.
NBC 5 asked Oncor what caused the pole to collapse and how old it was.
A spokesperson said they would reach out if they had any answers. Oncor instead released the following statement.
"Our employees responded to the scene late last night and remained on site throughout the day. We disconnected power to the building and it remains off to ensure the safety of firefighters, local residents and our on-site crew. We’re working closely with the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, and appreciate the quick action of first responders and the American Red Cross in assisting affected families."
All 12 apartment units were left uninhabitable. The American Red Cross responded to help the residents.