IRVING — At least two firefighters were injured battling a three-alarm fire at an apartment complex near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Saturday evening.
The fire, at 3110 Esters Road, was just southeast of the airport in a three-story building at the Eagle Crest Apartment Homes.
There was thunder and lighting when the fire broke out. "We just heard this loud like 'boom,'" said Jessica Neel.
Neel and a friend had just pulled into the parking lot and saw the building ablaze.
The first alarm went out just before 6 p.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the roof had already burned.
"We heard a big 'boom,'" Danette Mize said. "It spread all the way through really fast."
Residents scurried out as firefighters raced in; a total of 44 were at the scene.
About 15 minutes later, a "Mayday" call went out — a firefighter had fallen.
"I believe they were coming downstairs and came to a landing where it turned, and the rail collapsed," Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Wilson said.
A second firefighter was burned, but Wilson didn't know the extent of injuries. Both firefighters were taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas for treatment
One of the injured was released on Saturday night, and the second was expected to be out of the hospital on Sunday afternoon. Their names were not released.
While several people reported seeing a lightning strike, the cause of the fire remained under investigation late Saturday.
Twenty-four apartment units were destroyed in the fire. The American Red Cross was at the scene to assist displaced families.