Teens describe scary moments during Saturday fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/12/10

Teens describe scary moments during Saturday fire

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By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - Scary moments late Saturday night for five teenage girls who managed to safely get out of a central Lubbock apartment that was on fire. Firefighters say a candle caused the accidental blaze.

"The flames were coming out of the windows," describes Christian Truong who just before he saw the flames heard a knock on his door. "I answer the door and there is a little girl crying her eyes out saying there is a fire in her room."

Witnesses on the scene say everything happened very quickly.

"I thought someone was going to get lost in there. They were really close to me and I didn't want to lose them," explains close friend and neighbor Eric Acosta. He also ran to neighbors to get help.

Neighbors at the Lubbock Square apartments rushed outside just after 11 p.m. Saturday.

Maddie Clenvenger lives a couple of doors down. She ran to help her friends "It just spread and caught the whole bed on fire and the whole room lit up."

"My sisters go upstairs and start yelling ‘there is a fire, there is a fire," said Kaylee Smith, 15, who was watching her three sisters and one of their friends inside the apartment where the fire started. Smith ran back down stairs. "I told everyone to get out."

"We couldn't really see anything. It was all black," said Clevenger. The thick smoke made it difficult to find Kaylee's younger sister who was asleep on the couch. Smith called 911 and called her parents.

"That room where the fire started is pretty much a total loss," said Lubbock Fire Department Captain Shaun Fogerson who responded to the scene. The night could have been a lot worse. Luckily, Station 9 is just two blocks from the apartment.

"It's like rocks throwing distance," said Jeff Stuart who got out of his apartment Saturday night because of the fire. His apartment was not damaged.

Seven crews of firefighters responded to douse the flames which kept them from spreading. All of the residents in the building were evacuated for safety reasons.

"The younger one who lit the candle blames herself," said Clevenger. LFD said it was an accident. "What we had here was an accidental candle fire in a room on the second floor," said Fogerson who believes the girls were lucky.  

"They got here really quickly and a lot of them which was lucky for everybody," said Stuart.

The girls know they were lucky to make it out and say they have learned something from this accident. "Never light candles near blankets," said Smith.

There was also smoke and water damage to the unit but the bulk of the damage was in one room.

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