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Killeen apartment fire kills 3

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TWC News: Killeen apartment fire kills 3
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Firefighters discovered three bodies in the burned rubble of the Casa Tejas Apartments in Killeen.

The deadly fire began shortly after midnight Friday. Fire officials believe the blaze started in a second-floor unit and quickly spread to the rest of the apartments.

Killeen fire officials didn’t immediately identify the bodies found later in the morning, but Fire Chief J.D. Gardner says all three were in the same unit.

Gardner says a woman at the scene reported her mother and another woman were unable to escape the flames.

"Nothing but flames,” Cristine Buentello said. “The whole thing was nothing but flames."

Buentello considers herself lucky.

"I just woke up when someone kicked my door in,” she said. “One of my neighbors kicked the door in and it was on fire."

Witnesses who live directly across the street say they saw a young man trying to escape flames from the second floor.

"He jumped from the back of the window, broke the window, and jumped out just trying to get out," witness Ashley Dunson said. "By the time he tried to get out of the front, his whole house was on fire."

The man survived the blaze and was treated for minor injuries.

Killeen police said at least two people were hurt in the fire and have been taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Further details on their conditions weren't immediately released.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control by about 3 a.m. Friday. About 34 residents were taken to a local shelter by bus.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Officials say the Casa Tejas Apartments are a total loss.

Red Cross is assisting about 40 people find a new home.

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