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Large Fire Engulfs Apartment Complex in Northeast El Paso

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POSTED: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 2:13pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 7:55am

UPDATE:

Fire investigators have ruled a large apartment fire as accidental.  The fire started at about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at the High Vista Apartments at 54010 Alabama.

According to fire investigators, an electrical short in an outlet started the blaze.  A total of 12 units were affected.  Damage is estimated at $150,000.

24 people were displaced by the fire, but victims have their neighbors to thank for saving their lives.

Hugo Ruiz and his friend were driving back to work from their lunch break when they saw thick smoke pouring from the High Vista apartments.

"Thick smoke man. As soon as it came out black we knew there was going to be a fire" said Ruiz.

Ruiz said they pulled into the complex and started going door to door, pulling people out of their burning apartments.

"We took at least 12 people out of that unit.  We pulled one man out and he was in shock wondering what was going on, "There is a fire!'" Ruiz said.

He helped the man to safett, but the man's dog was still inside.  Ruiz went back in.

"I went in there with a shirt and grabbed the dog covering in smoke i smell like ash" said Ruiz.

While that rescue was taking place, a soldier from Fort Bliss was also busy saving people.

Chrisha Shinnosandefur was inside her apartment when a soldier pounded on her door to warn her.  She grabbed her two dogs and ran out.

Firefighters quickly showed up and put the fire out before it spread any further.  

No one was hurt.
 

 

EL PASO- Firefighters are on the scene of a condition 4 apartment fire at 5041 Alabama street.

According to scanner traffic, the apartment complex does not have firewalls and the fire is spreading quickly.

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