Houston Firefighters Battle Large Apartment Fire
A large apartment complex under construction in Houston has been consumed by fire, sending thick, black smoke billowing into the sky and drawing hundreds of emergency personnel.
Much of the high-rise structure was reduced to rubble Tuesday by wind-driven flames.
Houston Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ruy Lozano told the Houston Chronicle that the only people inside were construction workers and it is believed they all got out safely. He said one man was rescued as he prepared to jump to safety. No injuries have been reported.
The dramatic blaze first was reported about 12:30 p.m. The fire was upgraded to a five-alarm call about an hour later.
Fire officials said more than 200 emergency personnel were at the scene Tuesday afternoon and were working to protect nearby buildings.
No information was available about what sparked the blaze, but Lozano told the newspaper that high winds caused the fire to spread quickly.
Lash LaRue told the newspaper that he was installing phone lines on the fifth floor of the building when he heard a loud crash and then saw the ceiling collapsing and flames shooting through.
"It was wicked," LaRue said.
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