AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — One person was injured and the residents of an apartment building have been displaced after an early morning fire.
Amarillo fire crews were called to the Enclave Apartments around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. AFD said eight fire units, about 26 firefighters, responded. Crews remained on the scene all day, making sure no hot spots flared back up.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross was working to get immediate assistance to 16 of those who are displaced.
AFD’s Community Liaison, Jeff Justus, said when fire crews got to the apartments they found flames coming out of the breezeways, windows, and the roof.
“Reports came in over the phone of people jumping from the balcony. So they helped rescue people, and then worked to extinguish the fire, took them all night,” said Justus.
Justus said fire marshals determined the cause to be an accidental grease fire.
MyHighPlains.com spoke with Damien Wooten, who said the fire started in his apartment while cooking. He is also the person who was injured and said he lost his dog in the fire.
“I was terrified. I was scared. Like I said, I’m up here by myself just me and my dog. I was just hoping someone would hear me yelling, ‘Fire, help,’ banging on windows. Good thing I did yell…I didn’t know the fire was so major until I got out of the hospital early in the morning,” said Wooten. “Stuff can be replaced but some things can’t.”
Justus said everyone living in that one building, about 30 people, are displaced.
Kiley Murray, the executive director of the American Red Cross Serving the Texas Panhandle and South Plains, said they were called and volunteers came to offer help and support.
“This is what we do. We show up to the house fire, apartment fire. We show up to the tornado and the flooding or the freezing event and we work with our first responders to make sure that we meet the needs of those people who have in this case lost everything. And we couldn’t do that without our volunteers, our donors, our partnerships with the local agencies like the fire department,” said Murray.
The Red Cross said it is working to get people funds for immediate needs to help them figure out what’s next.
“I talked to several people were Red Cross about transitioning, needing help with room and board and clothes and stuff like that. So they’ve been on call. I can say that,” said Wooten.
AFD said there is some good news. They did find one cat this morning who survived the fire. He was found in the rubble. AFD said he was not happy, but he is doing fine and everyone is accounted for.