By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY An apartment fire destroyed 16 units and displaced 9 families on Sunday morning.
Fire Arson Investigator H.W. Buddy Rice indicates Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. responded to the blaze at 10:15 a.m. on January 11 to the Country Oaks Apartments in the 4015 block of US 90.
Nine adults, (eight women and one adult man) and ten children lost their homes.
A torrid inferno engulfed the entire two story wood sided multifamily dwellings located in the free standing structure on the northwest portion of the apartment complex, according to investigators. Due to building construction, the fire ravaged through the attic and sub-floor; the blaze consumed the building completely, Arson Investigator Rice indicated.
Observers say it was the northeastern end of the complex that burned.
Investigators say 10 fire departments, 30 fire trucks and about 100 firefighters assisted Crosby Volunteer Fire Department battle the blaze.
A firefighter sustained heat-related injuries during the battle. Arson Investigators estimated the damage at $500,000 but resident estimates are about $1,000,000.
According to Natishia Myles, Manager, the apartments management was unable to relocate the displaced families in the complex. Seven families are staying with relatives while two families were relocated to a hotel. Myles said, There is no need for any furniture the families at this time have nowhere to put furniture. But donations of clothing, diapers, wipes for babies and toddlers, shoes, socks, underwear, toothbrushes with toothpaste, toys and nonperishable food items are needed. The children that lost their homes are ranging in age an eight year old boy, a four year old boy, a to year old boy, a one year old boy, another child aged about one year old, two 10 year old children, two young boys whos ages are unknown, a young girl whos age I dont know.
According to Christy Orn of Realty Associates, Donations can be dropped off with us and well make sure they are taken to all the victims of this fire.
Orns business is located at 302 Wahl Street, she added, Please remind our community that it is winter and these children have no clothes to wear.
Investigators determined that the cause of the fire was most probably due to a 4 year old occupant of an apartment playing with a cigarette lighter. Investigators from Harris County Arson Bureau examined the scene and conducted interviews.
Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. returned to the scene that evening when prevalent winds rekindled the blaze inside the burnt out building.
There are no fire hydrants located near the apartment complex so water had to be shuttled in to combat the inferno.
By LEWIS SPEARMAN