Fire destroys apartment in minutes, residents lucky to be alive

Authorities ruled the fire as accidental

Many people are homeless after a fire broke out on La Casita Apartments in Harlingen.

Thursday night the fire started at around 8 p.m. at the apartment complex on Sam Houston Street.

A total of seven apartments were destroyed leaving 11 people homeless.

Only one building was a complete loss.

People that were at the scene tell Action 4 it all happened in a matter of minutes.

A little boy across the courtyard yelling that there was a fire, that there was smoke, that the roof was on fire," a witness Joshua Cavazos said. "So I looked up and I saw smoke coming from the rafters."

Cavazos TM girlfriend lives in La Casita.

He was at her apartment when the fire started and when he saw the fire he rushed his kids to the car.

He then went to door to door making sure everyone was out.

"So I started checking the sliders to see if there was anybody stuck inside," Cavazos said.

The San Benito and La Feria Fire Department were called in to assist the Harlingen Fire Department.

It took more than an hour to control the fire.

Firefighters stayed on the scene all night to make sure the strong winds didn't ignite the fire again.

Authorities tell Action 4 News no one living in the apartment complex has been injured.

One firefighter was injured and immediately rushed to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.

The South Texas Arson response team is helping out with the investigation.

Right now, the case is still under investigation.

Officials confirm that the fire was not caused by a dryer or arson as suspected.

They ruled the fire was accidental, but are investigating the incident.

The tenants who lost their home are being accommodated in vacant apartments at La Casita.

On Saturday, Liberty Tax office in Harlingen will throw a benefit to help those affected by the fire.

Their office is on North 77 Sunshine Strip.

They will be accepting donations and giving out food from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.