Residents displaced after blaze at Atascocita apartment complex

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter

ATASCOCITA, Texas - Weather may have been the cause of a four-alarm fire that displaced dozens of families Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called out to the Sun at Atascocita Apartments in the 7800 block of FM 1960 in northeast Harris County at around 6:20 a.m.  Upon arrival fire crews say they found heavy fire coming from the third floor of a three-story apartment building.

According to residents, the fire was sparked earlier Wednesday morning during the thunderstorm.

"So many people heard the crash," said resident Shanna Gordon. "The lightning hit the roof and it sounded like a big boom. We didn't think anything of it because it sounded like a transformer blew or that it was just lightning near by. No one expected a fire. I had no idea what was going on until someone was banging at my door for me to get out."

Elizabeth Baxter, who was driving west on FM 1960 heading to work, saw the flames and rushed into the complex to help.

"It was around 6 a.m., I saw the fire but I didn't see anyone outside. I knew there were people inside because I could see their cars. I told my husband to pull over and we jumped out and started going door to door yelling for people to get out," said Baxter.

Twenty-four units were damaged, and 55 people were displaced. Residents who could not return to their units were taken to a near by church by the Atascocita Fire Department. Volunteers from the Red Cross were on hand to meet their immediate needs.

Everyone was accounted for, but two people were transported to the hospital. 

One resident was transported with medical problems. One firefighter was transported after debris fell and struck him on the head. Both are expected to be OK.

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