Saturday, July 08, 2017 10:20PM
CROSBY, Texas (KTRK) -- Residents of a fire-gutted apartment complex in Crosby escaped only with what clothes they had on and their lives. It is not an exaggeration but fact for those who survived the deadly fire.
Fifty-eight people have been displaced, according to investigators.
Three bodies were found Saturday afternoon in the debris. Until then, they were listed as missing.
Breanna Freeman said the victims lived in the apartment above her.
"More would have died if that man hadn't knocked on doors, warning us the building was on fire," she said.
She got out, along with her cousin and her grandparents. Her grandmother was in a wheelchair and fell out of it in the rush to escape.
"He helped pick her up and pull her away from the flames," she said. The flames were literally at their backs.
Barbara Lyle lived in the apartment next door and was also in a wheelchair.
"It burned my hair," she said, "and my robe started to melt."
Saturday night, she was staying in a motel courtesy of a Red Cross voucher. She was able to grab her purse as she was pushed out of the apartment door.
"We lost everything," said her son, Cliff Lyle.
The man credited with saving people was Ray Paz, who lives and works next to the apartment complex. His wife, Lisa, was first to hear yelling and see the flames and urged him to go help.
Paz didn't hesitate.
He went door to door yelling 'Fire!' but couldn't make it up the stairs to the apartment where the three fatalities are believed to have been.
"The smoke and flames were too much," he said. He believed by that point, they couldn't have made it to the door to get out.
Of the families to whom we spoke, all said they were never alerted by their smoke detectors.
"I had just put new batteries in it," said Chris Lyle. "I never heard an alarm."
The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of the fatal fire, and the issue of working smoke detectors will be part of the investigation, said spokesperson Rachel Moreno.
Some residents have been told that they will be relocated to undamaged units on the property, but for most, they have nothing to start over with, from furniture to clothing.
The names of the three victims who perished in the fire have not been released, pending confirmation by the medical examiner's office.
CROSBY, Texas -- The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office confirms three bodies were found after a three-alarm fire in Crosby early Saturday. Harris Co. Institute of Forensic Science will ID the victims.
Witness photos before 7 a.m. showed a large plume of smoke coming from the Crosby Square Apartments in the 15000 block of FM 2100.
The fire was so large, the Houston Fire Department was called in to assist Crosby firefighters.
The fire was contained, but it took a few hours to locate the bodies of the victims because the property was still under heavy smoke.
The medical examiner is working to identify the persons killed in the fire. The victims' bodies were so badly burned, investigators could not determine their identities or genders on the scene.
Authorities said the fire displaced 58 people.
3 found dead in fire at Houston-area apartment complex
Saturday, July 8th 2017, 4:54 pm EDT
CROSBY, Texas (AP) - Investigators say three people have been found dead in a fire that destroyed part of a Houston-area apartment complex.
Firefighters responded to a blaze around dawn Saturday morning in Crosby, 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Houston. Authorities are trying to determine what sparked the fire.
Harris County Fire Marshal's Office spokeswoman Rachel Moreno says investigators believe all three people lived at the complex.
Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Gilliland previously had said two women and a boy were unaccounted for following the blaze. Gilliland later said it appears the victims succumbed to the fire. Autopsies were ordered. Names and further details on the victims weren't immediately released.
Moreno says one building, with eight units, was destroyed. She says some units in a second building were damaged.
CROSBY, Texas – The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office has confirmed three bodies have been found after a three-alarm apartment fire in northeast Harris County Saturday morning.
Fire marshals were dispatched around 6:15 a.m. at Crosby Square Apartments at 15016 FM 2100 Road.
Officials said when the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department was called to the apartment complex, they witnessed heavy fire coming out of the building, which eventually spread to a second building.
A total of eight fire departments assisted in putting out the fire, according to a representative of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Officials said a shelter has been set up at Crosby Middle School, and Red Cross is currently on the scene.
As of now, the cause of the fire is unknown. The victims have not yet been identified.