FORT WORTH — Part of the roof at the Wayside Plaza Apartments collapsed shortly before 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Heavy winds are being blamed for destroying half the roof of a building in the 700 block of Ninth Avenue. Witnesses said they thought it was a tornado.
Much of the debris landed in the courtyard of the two-story complex as the power cut on and off.
"It sounded like a freight train came through," said resident Nancy Stewart, who added at least two vehicles in the parking lot were also damaged.
The apartments were evacuated as inspectors determined whether the building was structurally sound for tenants.
James Wallace was caught off guard by the stormy weather. "I felt like I heard the train rumbling through," he said. "I could hear the wood breaking."
Sumaila Kpaka jumped into the tub of his upstairs apartment. He is one of several residents forced out of their homes because of the serious roof damage.
"They're telling me I have to go, I can't be here because of utilities," Kpaka said.
Water drips from the ceiling fan in his apartment and along a living room window. The carpet is also soaked.
Still, Kpaka considers himself blessed.
"I'm okay, man. I'm still alive," he said. "Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jehovah. Thank you Lord."
Initially, emergency crews were told several people may have been trapped inside the building. They arrived to discover that everyone escaped and no one was hurt.