Five-alarm condo fire lights up Dallas sky

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 4:46 PM

Condo fire

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DALLAS — Immense flames poured out of an intense fire.

"It's disbelief, just like a movie!" said Iesha Brown, who lives nearby. "I've never seen anything like this in my life. It's devastating. This is so sad."

Brown held her hand over her mouth as she watched an entire block of condos burn in the 9400 block of Timberleaf Drive near Forest Lane and Abrams Road in Lake Highlands. The entire neighborhood filled with smoke... and worry.

"Do I need to start grabbing things and start trying to get out of the neighborhood or what, you know?" asked Lenora Coleman. "I don't know what to think."

The first alarm went out at 6:10 p.m., Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said. Most of the condos that burned were being renovated.

Neighbors and online rental listings said several units had been gutted down to the studs and work had been going on for years.

Coleman snapped her fingers and said the fire blossomed within seconds.

"It was just immediately.... just like that," she said.

Neighbor Monte Martin said he watched it grow. "I was coming to my house and saw the billowing flame of fire," he said. "It started down there and came this way."

Evans said only one unit was occupied, and that the woman who lives there was not home. Firefighters rescued her dog from a blaze that presented several challenges.

Downed power lines and low visibility made it a tough fight, Evans said. Burning embers even sparked two nearby grass fires, but they were quickly brought under control.

Evans said one firefighter received a minor burn and was taken to a hospital. He was expected to be discharged before the night was over.

Firefighters were likely to remain on the scene until early Thursday. While the fire was contained within a couple of hours, flames were still visible. The Red Cross was offering help to the displaced resident.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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