The fire scene was on West Greenridge at Skyline Drive in Southwest Houston. The flames started just after 5 p.m. and quickly spread throughout the building.
Firefighters battled heavy flooding and gridlocked rush-hour traffic just to make the scene. That flooding caused water supply problems, and explosions from live ammunition inside the building pushed crews back outside.
“They had some explosions while they were on location and they had some ammunition going off also,” Houston Fire Assistant Chief Kevin Alexander said.
Eric Lane, who was working in a nearby building when the fire erupted, said he thought lightning probably started the fire.
“The lightning was crashing all around and we heard a real close pop,” Lane said.
Meanwhile, residents who had been at work rushed home when they heard flames were shooting from their apartment units.
High school teacher Dan Green saw the flames leaping from his apartment and thought he had lost everything, including his best friend.
“I basically had a panic attack,” Green said.
But as he drew near the burning building, he realized firefighters had rescued the most important thing he had. His dog Chess was just fine.
“I was freaking out because I didn’t know if my dog was alive or not,” Green said. “As soon as I got up here, there was Chess, being hugged by one of the firemen. God love them. God bless them.”
Firefighters said no one was hurt, but the building is a total loss from flame, smoke and water damage.