Uvalde apartment fire: Improperly discarded cigarettes cause fire that has displaced families, according to Harris Co. Fire Marshal

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) – Poorly discarded cigarettes are to blame for a fire that has displaced several families from their apartments in eastern Harris County just days before Christmas, the Fire Marshal’s Office said .

Investigators ruled the fire accidental.

The fire marshal’s office said the fire started around 2:20 a.m. on Friday on the ground floor of the Pines of Woodforest apartments in Uvalde.

The flames spread to the second floor, damaging 12 units and requiring assistance from five different agencies.

Rachel Neutzler, of the Fire Marshal’s Office, called the fact that there were smoke detectors a saving grace because no one was injured.

Although the fire was contained within one building, the apartment complex had a common attic and no sprinklers, which allowed the flames to spread.

“From what I was told, the back of my apartment, the very back, was collapsed. We were able to save a bit of the living room, but that’s about it. pretty much everything lost, ”said resident Faith Daniels. “Anything material we can replace, but our lives cannot be replaced. My family is fine. Everyone here right now is still living, breathing, that’s all that matters.”

“Any fire is devastating, but right before the holidays makes it even more devastating,” Neutzler said.

Authorities say the wind was also a factor in the spread of the fire.

The Red Cross is helping affected residents.

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