HOUSTON – Cellphone video recorded across the street from an apartment fire in Greenspoint on Friday afternoon showed how quickly the fire grew out of control.
Firefighters said a 911 call to report the fire came in around 4:08 p.m.
Authorities believe the fire started when a resident left something cooking on his stove at the Forest Pointe Apartments on the 13000 block of Northborough Drive near the North Freeway and Rankin Road.
The above video was recorded by Niko Bourque, who lives across the street from the apartments.
"It was crazy," Bourque said. "It was the most intense thing I've seen in my life."
Bourque said the fire was so intense he could feel it from where he stood.
"It was that hot," he said. "Ashes falling on us. It was like a volcano, like the movie 'Volcano.' Had ashes falling everywhere, everybody just burning up. It was that hot."
Aerial footage from Sky 2 showed just how extensive the damage was. Video shows how close the fire came to spreading to nearby buildings.
The flames moved so quickly firefighters made the decision to switch from an offensive attack to a defensive one after about 15 minutes of fighting the flames.
"The size of the building, the size of the fire, and the wind made the determination pretty easy to go defensive," said District Chief Steven Dunbar, with the Houston Fire Department. "You're not gonna catch up with the fire and there's no reason to put a firefighter into an untenable situation."
Seven families lost their apartments, but management was able to find all of them new, vacant apartments inside the complex.
No injuries were reported.