IRVING — With his mouth trembling and eyes almost filled with tears, Jay Yang — a resident at the Eagle Crest Apartments in Irving — shared his gratitude and frustration.
He's happy to be alive, but frustrated he hasn't been allowed back into his burned-out home, hoping to recover photos of his deceased parents.
"I don't know how long more I have to wait, because I've got nothing to do but keep waiting," Yang said.
It's been a full day since he escaped his burning apartment, and he said the wait to recover anything that's left is unbearable.
"The only thing I can do is look at my apartment and hope any family picture or anything I can grab," he said.
Yang said he saw a lightning bolt and heard a loud clap of thunder Saturday evening while sitting inside his third floor unit.
Within seconds, he smelled smoke.
"I go upstairs and come down ... and I see already big fire!" Yang recalled.
He said he had enough time to grab his keys, run downstairs, move his car and snap a photo of the flames shooting from his apartment unit roof.
Within minutes, his home was reduced to rubble.
Neighbors Brian and Chelsea Lane met the same fate. They believe the human toll would have been worse had not a Good Samaritan run door-to-door alerting tenants and their pets to get out.
"I can't believe somebody would risk their lives to do that," Chelsea Lane said.
"Definitely a great big thank you!" her husband Brian added.
The American Red Cross is assisting the 24 displaced families.
The Irving Fire Department said the cause of the three-alarm blaze remains under investigation.
The two firefighters who were injured in the incident have now been released after treatment at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, officials said.