Resident recalls waking up to flames outside her Northeast apartment

Local

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Twelve units of a Northeast El Paso Apartment complex located at the 8700 block of Dyer were damaged in a fire early Friday morning.

According to the El Paso Fire Department, no injuries were reported but 10 people were displaced due to their apartments being burned.

One resident said she woke to the sound of a woman screaming “fire.”

“Well about 2:30, 2:35, I heard a young lady out here screaming ‘fire’ and I wasn’t sure if it was real or not,” said Gail Simon, who lives in an apartment behind those that burned. “So I came out of my apartment and the flames was coming out (of) this one on the backside. And I called 911 and they were very quick to get here.”

Simon said she heard popping noises coming from the burning units and was worried that the fire would spread to her apartment or to her family members, but it didn’t.

“My daughter and my grandkids live right there, so I wasn’t gonna move until I was absolutely sure that they had it under control and that it would stop popping,” she said. “I don’t know what the popping was coming from. I don’t know if it was the glass breaking out in the back or what.”

For the people whose apartments did burn in the fire, the American Red Cross is assisting.

“For these folks, in particular, some of them had a place to go, some of them were relocated by the complex and then others we were able to provide financial assistance to get them into new places,” said Ames Davis, executive director of the American Red Cross for West Texas.

She added that while the lodging is only for the short term, the American Red Cross also assists them in getting clothes and any medication they may have lost in the fire.

“As a humanitarian organization, it’s heartbreaking,” Davis said. “We know this is the stuff that goes, maybe, to homelessness or maybe mental health issues, people may not have their medications.”

Davis said that some of the residents in this fire left before the Red Cross arrived and that those who are in need of assistance after this fire can call 1-800-RedCross.

According to the El Paso Fire Department, this was a Condition 4 fire and 19 fire units and 54 firefighters responded.

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