Seven families are homeless after an apartment fire in West Lubbock. It happened around 3:45 Monday afternoon at the Red Oaks Apartments located at 5308 38th Street. Fifty-seven firefighters, 8 fire trucks, and 13 Lubbock Fire personnel responded to the fire. The fire Marshall's office says the fire was accidental and may have started from barbeque ashes or a cigarette butt.
About 15 people were standing among the fire trucks waiting to see if their homes were still standing. "I saw just the whole thing burning all the way into pieces, and I thought my parents were burning. The cop had to knock down the door," Lubbock Resident Selena Ruiz said.
Selena's son was staying at her parents apartment and when she got there it was in flames.
"I thought they were in there! I thought they were gone! I really thought that I lost them," Ruiz cried.
Firefighters were able to knock her parents door down and she realized that her family was not inside. "They knocked the door down but no one was in there. I'm just thankful that they are here and that they were not gone." Ruiz's parents and her son were at a movie during the fire.
In all, 7 units were a complete loss after the accidental fire started in the apartment complex alley.
Firefighters say the heat helped the fire spread quickly. It took the 57 firefighters an hour to completely put the fire out. A rehabilitation unit was available to firefighters due to the scorching 104 degree temperatures.
"We do have the rehabilitation center set up allowing our guys to relax a few minutes get out of their bunker gear and cool down get some drinks," Lubbock Fire Marshall Elliot Eldridge said.
There were no injuries reported but several families are working with the Red Cross to pick up the pieces.
"They just spoke to us and say they're going to help my parents with food and everything so were very thankful for that," Ruiz said.
Copyright 2011. KCBD NewsChannel 11.