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Early morning fires damage two CenTex apartment complexes

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:40pm

Fire crews across Central Texas spent the early morning hours Monday, battling blazes at two apartment complexes.

A midnight fire at a complex in Bellmead displaced several residents overnight. Meanwhile, in Temple, quick action kept an intense blaze from creating a disaster.

Temple Fire & Rescue crews responded to a report of a fire early Monday morning at the Ramona Courtyard Apartments, located at 500 West Avenue G in Temple.

The call was dispatched at 3:21 a.m. and the first engine arrived at 3:26 a.m., to find smoke and flames visible in a single apartment. Temple Police arrived prior to fire crews and assisted in evacuating sleeping residents from adjoining units.

An interior fire attack was initiated as a simultaneous, coordinated effort was made to check for any victims and also check for any extension of fire to the attic or other units. Initial reports were that all residents were evacuated and accounted for, a search confirmed that everyone was out safely.

The fire was reported to be controlled at 3:44 a.m. Fire investigators learned that the unit involved in the fire was unoccupied and had recently completed a renovation project. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental and preliminary rulings are electrical in nature.

"This unit has a common attic. So, if it were to get up in the attic, it could have spread all the way down to the other end," said Temple Fire Captain, Ron Stewart.

There were no injuries reported. The single unit sustained heavy fire and smoke damage. The fire was confined to the unit of origin and no occupants were reported to be displaced. There was some extension noted into a common attic but the quick response and aggressive attack on the fire prevented further damage. 13 occupants stay in the 30 apartment units. Some of those occupants who received some damage to their home will be relocated until repairs are made.

A total of 17 firefighters responded on four engines, one ladder truck and a command vehicle. Also responding were Temple Police and Scott & White EMS.

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