Accident

College Station Fire Department Works Large Two-Alarm Apartment Complex Fire; People and Pets OK

Fire damaged an entire unit at an apartment complex near A&M’s campus Tuesday evening but everyone made is safely out of the burning building.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – Residents were accounted for and safe Tuesday evening after a fire quickly spread through an apartment building on Marion Pugh Drive near the Texas A&M campus.

The fire was reported just after 6:00 p.m. at Treehouse Apartments near George Bush Drive across from the McDonald’s restaurant. Firefighters were able to contain the building to building number 7 but the blaze damaged or destroyed all twelve apartments in that unit.

Residents say there was work being done on the building at the time of the fire but firefighters say it’s too soon to determine exactly what started the fire.

“At first there was a little bit of smoke coming from the stairs and then there was more and more,” said resident Sierra Richardson. “They’ve been doing construction on the stairs and around the apartment building so I thought that might be what it was at first, but then it went crazy and everyone started banging on doors.”

“It was kind of a small fire right by the electrical boxes, and then within five minutes, it just engulfed like the whole thing, in ya know, just a matter of minutes,” witness Vivek Jadeja, a Houston resident who was visiting his girlfriend, said. “It was pretty crazy.”

“It kind of quickly went crazy and everyone started banging on the doors,” Richardson said.

The apartment manager tells KBTX they were relieved to learn everyone who was home at the time of the fire was able to make it out safely and their priority now is to make sure those who are displaced have a place to relocate temporarily. The American Red Cross, College Station’s Community Action Response Team, and a student organization from Texas A&M would help make those arrangements, said the manager.

Video shared by residents and people in the area when the fire started shows a wall of flames that consumed the building before firefighters arrived on the scene and thick smoke pouring over the complex and across the busy streets. Police eventually closed Marion Pugh near the George Bush Drive intersection.

All pets were accounted for, according to property managers.

One dog was seen being carried by a College Station firefighter to a stretcher where firefighters and medics provided it oxygen. The dog is now doing okay.

A Battalion Chief on the scene tell KBTX investigators would be looking into the exact cause of the fire.

“It’s a difficult challenge because of the courtyard,” College Station Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Clements said. “We don’t get to see the whole view of the building, but our guys did a great job. They made a super aggressive, offensive attack, and was able to get the fire out very quickly.”

Bryan firefighters were also there to assist with the response.

“I just couldn’t believe what was happening,” Jadeja said. “I never thought I would experience something like that. It was pretty insane.”

Written by Karla CastilloRusty Surette and Andy Krauss

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