Fire Rips Through East El Paso Apartment Complex
POSTED: Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 8:42pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 11:23am
EL PASO--- Four families are homeless after their apartment units were completely destroyed in a fire Saturday.
Onlookers could only wait and watch as firefighters worked to get save several units at the Pinon Trails apartment complex in the 1500 block of Lomaland in East El Paso.
Flames ignited after a grease fire in someone's kitchen got out of control, said Lt. Mario Hernandez with the El Paso Fire Dept.
One resident, Cindy Chavirra, was inside her apartment when the fire broke out.
Although she's hearing impaired, Cindy quickly realized something was wrong.
"She saw the fire alarm flashing she opened the door and saw the flames," said sister Jasmin Chavirra, who translated our interview with Cindy.
Terrified, Cindy's only choice was to jump out her window.
"She was really scared. She didn't know what to think. She was just like, 'I didn't know if I was going to make it out on time'," she said.
Cindy did make it out in time.
Tonight, she's thankful her manager installed a special smoke detector for the deaf.
"She wouldn't have been able to hear anything, she wouldn't have known anything, so she's really grateful," she said.
Everyone at the complex made it out safely.
While firefighters were able to save this dog, Nino, we're told another family dog didn't make it out alive.
Fire officials say this should serve as another reminder to check fire detectors.
"Whether you're hearing impaired, whatever, smoke detectors do work. We want to remind the public get yourself a smoke detector. They do work they do save lives," said Hernandez.
The damage is estimated at about $150,000.
The El Paso Chapter of the American Red Cross will provide residents with food, clothes and bedding.