1 dead in blaze at NW Houston apartment complex

Investigators: No foul play in death of resident

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - One person was killed in a 2-alarm fire Thursday afternoon at a northwest Houston apartment complex, according to Houston Fire Department.

Heavy smoke and flames filled the sky at the West Vintage apartments at 6500 W. 43rd Street near the Northwest Freeway.

HFD said firefighters arrived at the two-story building and a second alarm was pulled. The fire was under control shortly after 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Sixteen apartments were damaged. HFD originally sent out information that no injuries were reported, but later Thursday the department confirmed one person died in the blaze.

Houston police homicide investigators left the fire scene Thursday night saying there was no sign of foul play in the death of the person found dead in an upstairs apartment.

The owners of the complex said there was no natural gas connected to the building, so they were not sure what fueled the fire. HFD's arson investigators will determine how the fire started and whether the origin of the fire is suspicious.

Resident, Richard Lara said, "That one unit up there, it was all smoke, flames, everywhere. Then it started spreading all the way across."

Some residents said they heard one or two explosions as the fire started. The owner of the complex said the fire started in the back bedroom of apartment 115 upstairs.

"Some other residents said they saw people who lived there leave. I'm not sure what happened to them, why they left or what's going on with them," said complex owner Cameron Atchison.

The force of the explosion sent pieces of glass into the lawn. A wall collapsed as firefighters put out the fire.

The name of the victim has not been released.

Red Cross said volunteers will be helping those families displaced by the fire.

Copyright 2014 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.