AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Fire Department crews and Austin-Travis County EMS medics responded to a three-alarm fire at an apartment complex in North Austin on Jan. 7.
The call came in at around 3:58 a.m. on Jan. 7 for the Ventura Apartments complex, located at 9133 Northgate Boulevard near West Rundberg Lane and US 183. When crews arrived, they found large amounts of fire across the complex and worked to put out the fire while also rescuing people trapped in their apartments.
AFD tweeted the following photo of the conditions when crews arrived at the fire:
AFD said it appeared that the main fire was on the second floor, so there will be water damage on the first floor as well.
ATCEMS initially said two adult patients had been transported to Dell Seton Medical Center with critical, life-threatening injuries, but later corrected to say one patient has critical injuries and the other has serious injuries. Two additional patients were transported to St. David's Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Four additional patients refused transport.
AFD said more than 30 residents are displaced. The department said the building has approximately 40 units and all occupants are displaced. In addition to residents, AFD said numerous pets were also saved.
In an update on Jan. 10, the AFD said it took 100-plus "A-shift" firefighters an hour to put out the blaze, which caused $1.25 million in damage. The cause of the fire "will remain undetermined" due to the massive destruction, according to AFD.
AFD coordinated with Capital Metro to have several buses respond to assist evacuated individuals and help them stay warm. The American Red Cross and the Austin Police Department's Victim Services Unit are also helping to find shelter for displaced residents.
Additionally, the Austin Disaster Relief Network will be pitching in to assist both physically and emotionally, making sure resident have food, a place to sleep, clothing and other supplies, and spiritual support.
“It’s hard to imagine the trauma these people are going through,” said ADRN Associate Director Stephen Brewer. “We pray for quick healing for those who were injured, and we’re also deeply concerned for all the residents who find themselves suddenly without a home tonight. We’re here to help today, tomorrow, next week – however long it takes to help them return to a safe and clean place to live.”
Austin City Council Member Greg Casar urged the community to step in and help.
“I visited with the families who survived this morning's enormous fire, and they need our help. People lost all their possessions, their cars and their homes,” Casar said. “While the Austin Fire Department works on the case, we can make sure our displaced neighbors have a place to sleep, clothes to wear, and food to eat. Together, we can ensure these families weather this disaster.”
As of around 6 a.m. that morning, AFD said the fire was under control. Damages are estimated at $1,000,000 in structure and $250,000 in contents.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: