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Wind-Whipped Apartment Fire Displaces Two-Dozen Residents

By: Chinh Doan Email
By: Chinh Doan Email

KILLEEN (February 26, 2013)—The American Red Cross was providing assistance Tuesday to 23 residents displaced when a wind-whipped fire gutted a building Monday night at the Stonehill Apartments at 501 West Central Texas Expressway in Killeen.

The fire, which burned for about three hours, was under control by 9:30 p.m. Monday.

No injuries were reported.

Fire officials said Tuesday the blaze started in a downstairs unit of building 13 where a pan was left on a burner that was turned on.

The residents of that apartment weren’t home and except for two international students in an adjoining apartment, none of the other apartments in the building was occupied when the fire started, a fire official said.

A fence was erected around the building for safety reasons Tuesday.

The building was a total loss, the official said.

Two adjacent buildings were evacuated Monday night as a precaution, but they weren't damaged.

Firefighters were also keeping a close eye on homes on Skyline Avenue directly behind the complex and were wetting down the roof of at least one house to protect it from embers from the apartment blaze.

The Killeen Fire Department is investigating to determine the cause of the fire.

Crews from surrounding departments stepped in to answer routine calls while Killeen firefighters battled the flames.

The fire broke out just as firefighters in Copperas Cove were mopping up after a fire that gutted an unoccupied two-story apartment building.

Fire units were sent at around 2:15 p.m. Monday to the complex at 313 Sunset Lane, on the city's west side, and the first units reported flames and smoke pouring from the top of the two-story brick structure.

The wind whipped the flames through windows broken by the fire and a nearby apartment building was evacuated as a precaution.

At around 3 a.m. Monday, fire raced through a building at the Ramona Courtyard in Temple and caused damage to several units.

Fire and police units arrived to find flames and smoke shooting from the roof of the building in the 500 block of West Avenue G.

The fire was contained to Unit 23, which was not occupied at the time, but all the apartments share a common attic, so smoke, heat and water damage affected several other apartments as well, Temple police Sgt. Brad Hunt said.


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