Woman whose body found in SE Houston condo fire identified

HOUSTON - The identity of the woman whose body was found during an investigation into a fire at a condominium in southeast Houston has been released.

Shirley Sara Cherian, 30, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire was reported at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday at the Briarwick Condominiums at Holly Hall and El Mundo.

Houston fire Chief Robert Kamman said the fire started in the center of the building. At least 20 units had heavy fire, smoke and water damage.

A viewer sent KPRC 2 video of flames tearing through the condos.

Houston homicide detectives said Cherian's body was found in the closet of her condo on the third floor of the building late Tuesday morning. Firefighters said a search could not be conducted due to heat from the fire and questions about the integrity of the structure.

According to the Houston Fire Department, one woman suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital. Fire officials said that another resident was injured after he jumped from his second-story apartment. He suffered scrapes and bruises.

Another woman tried to escape the flames by climbing onto her balcony and onto the roof where firefighters rescued her.

The Red Cross has been called to offer assistance.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600.  

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