HOUSTON - Six families are without their homes after a massive fire destroyed six homes at Briarwest Townhomes in west Houston on Sunday.
"I have never seen anything like this, and I have seen a lot, " said Susan Stinnett, who lost her townhome to fire. "It was like a horror movie."
Stinnett and several other residents were sleeping when they were awoken by screams and pounding on their doors.
"My neighbor started banging on my door, and there was a whole flock of people coming from that end of the street running," said Anthony Roger, a man whose townhome was damaged by the fire. "I was asleep, I looked out my window, I saw chaos, so I came downstairs and I saw flames."
At approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, Houston firefighters responded to the blaze.
"Some people trapped, some kids trapped, but they exited the building, so no civilian or firefighter injuries involved," said HFD Chief C.D. Rush.
When crews arrived, they had to pull a second alarm because the flames were so intense. About 60 firefighters battled the flames using ladder trucks.
"I ran downstairs and I remembered my dogs were in a kennel, and I must say that my neighbors ran back up stairs but the smoke was bad, and they didn't know the dogs were on the other side of my bed," says Stinnett.
Unfortunately, her two Maltese puppies, Penelope and Zoe, did not make it out before the smoke overtook her house.
"As bad as my loss is, I am very lucky, because I might not be here," said Stinnett.
Most of the families will be staying with other family members or friends until they find a more permanent solution.
Officials said they noticed a slight gas leak at the back of the complex, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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