WACO (July 11, 2013)—A raging fire raced through an abandoned apartment building early Thursday morning and left the structure in ashes.
The old Metropolitan Apartments had been on the city’s list for demolition and had been vacant for years.
Firefighters were called just minutes after 1 a.m. Thursday to North 15th Street and Trice Avenue where the first units to report said they could see massive plumes of smoke from some distance away.
The first truck on the scene almost immediately requested a second alarm.
The assistant chief also ordered evacuations of homes in the area along North 12th Street as a precaution.
Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said several police officers assisted in getting families to a safe place.
Firefighters had to attack the blaze from both sides as the building had exposures to both Trice and Tennessee Avenues.
A fire marshal was at the scene early to try to determine what might have sparked the fire but he said it was too early to established a cause.
The residents who were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes by about 7 a.m., but fire crews remained at the scene dousing hot spots and investigating the blaze.