3-alarm blaze likely caused $400,000 in damages

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by MARCUS MOORE

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WFAA

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 19 at 5:45 PM

DALLAS –– The Red Cross is helping more than 20 residents Thursday morning who were displaced by a massive three-alarm fire in Lake Highlands.

Flames spread through several units at the Richland Trace Condos on Walnut and Audelia streets at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. When firefighters arrived, they spotted smoke coming through one of the buildings. The responders noticed the structural integrity begin to decline as the fire spread further. 

It took until 2 a.m. to fully tap the blaze out, said Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans. Most of the damage occurred after the fire reached the attic and spread. Fire investigators suspect an electrical problem caused the blaze. 

"We didn't know what was going on, it happened so fast," said resident Yolanda Whitaker. "I grabbed one pair of pants and a shirt, that's all." 

In all, 24 units were affected. Sixteen suffered fire, smoke or water damage. Evans said initial damage estimates are hovering around $400,000. 

Investigators have not determined a cause and no one was injured.

Residents were not allowed back in to salvage their belongings Thursday morning because of fears the remaining structure might collapse.

"When the fire gets into void spaces, it's very prone to collapse," said Fire-Rescue Battallion Chief Chris Willeford. 

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