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Firefighters responding to apartment fire in SW Houston

Flames spread through the roof top building 19 at the El Paraiso Apartments on Corporate Drive at Sharpcrest on Sunday afternoon.

The fire started about 3:30 p.m. in the 7700 block of Corporate Drive.

Residents said the smoke was so dense that it forced some residents to run from the area with shirts over their mouths to avoid choking on the smoke.

“It was like a big, big fire. It was crazy big and I was scared,” said Miimii Martinez, who lives in a complex nearby.

The building has been vacant for some time, ever since another huge fire broke out in the same building March 17th.

“We had no injuries and no one was hurt because the building is vacant, but there was the risk of this blaze spreading to other buildings”, said assistant chief Blake White with Houston Fire Department.

More than 80 Houston firefighters were called to fight this fire with 14 different trucks.

Residents told KPRC2 that it was “eerie” that the same building would burn twice in one year.

The Houston Fire Arson Squad is investigating.

“It’s under investigation right now, but it’s very suspicious when you have a building with no power and that’s vacant, and it catches fire. So the arson team is here,” White said.

As for residents who live nearby, they want the building torn down, fearing that it will burn again.

“They need to tear this place all the way down. It’s a hazard. It needs to come down now,” Martinez said.