Firefighters battle massive apartment fire in Central El Paso
POSTED: Friday, May 10, 2013 - 8:13am
UPDATED: Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 3:53pm
EL PASO — Firefighters worked for several hours Friday to put out a massive fire at a 2-story apartment building on Raynor and Pershing in Central El Paso.
The El Paso Fire Department said the fire started on the second floor, but it’s unclear what caused it.
The fire started at 3:30 a.m. Friday. The flames were so big that you could see them for miles.
More than 50 firefighters stayed in defensive mode the entire time, meaning they were only battling the fire from the outside of the building because it was too dangerous to go inside.
Firefighters had to rescue two people from the second floor of the building, but they are expected to be OK.
The fire spokesperson said the building has 10 apartment units, five of which are occupied. Everyone made it out safely. The Red Cross is helping six people who are displaced.
Paramedics took one person to University Medical Center for smoke inhalation and respiratory problems.
Nearby residents were evacuated themselves and some were treated smoke inhalation.
"We were woken up by the knocks on the door, the police trying to get us out. I looked out the window from the back and there's a big fire," said Victor Rodriguez.
As the flames were shooting out of the building, those residents were worried their homes would be the next to go.
“Right now, I'm kind of scared. All my things are right there. If it spreads, it's going to be really bad. We could lose everything,” said Rodriguez.
According to the fire department, the building was destroyed. The roof partially collapsed as firefighters battled the blaze. It said it will have to be demolished.
The building is a complete loss and will soon be demolished.
Police closed off the streets in the Raynor and Pershing neighborhood on Friday.
Damages for the building are estimated at $200,000.