Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Austin

Firefighter injured, 27 displaced in massive apartment fire

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TWC News: Firefighter injured, 27 displaced in massive apartment fire
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Update-- Thursday evening's fire caused about $1.2 million in damage to the apartment building and $400,000 in damage to its contents.

Fire investigators determined the fire's cause to be accidental, caused by items left too close to a water heater.

Earlier-- A firefighter was hurt Thursday night and 27 people were left without a home after a massive two-alarm apartment fire in northeast Austin.

The first call came in just before 9:00 p.m. to 2250 Ridgepoint Drive – that’s a large complex just north of the intersection of U.S. Highways 290 and 183.

The first fire units to arrive encountered heavy fire and called a second alarm. A total of 20 fire trucks, 80 firefighters and a number of police units were sent to the scene. The firefighter who was hurt apparently fell through a roof and hurt his ankle, but his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

Nakieta Davis was cooking dinner when she heard a neighbor bang on her door.

"When we opened the door, it was like a big blaze of fire and it was hot outside,” she said. "Me and my sister were running, we were scared, we didn’t know what to do. That whole building within that two-minute time frame was completely on fire."

All 24 units of the apartment building were damaged.

"The buildings were evacuated by the first arriving units, and prior to that, both the police department and neighbors assisted in evacuating the buildings," AFD Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said.

One apartment building burned as firefighters focused their efforts on protecting nearby structures. Once the fire was under control, that's when the Red Cross and apartment management started contacting residents to see if they needed a place to stay.

For Davis, she is thankful to be alive after seeing how quickly the fire tore throughout the complex. She says it may have been a different outcome if it hadn’t been for the knock on the door.

"She lives in another complex so she just happened to see it and let us know, so everybody has been trying to find her to thank her, because it was truly like a guardian angel," she said.

Aside from the firefighter, there were no further injuries.

YNN intern Caitlin Perrone was on scene Friday and took the photographs in the gallery below

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