WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — 18 people are displaced after flames tore through an apartment complex in Wichita Falls Tuesday night.
Firefighters arrived at the Summit apartment complex near Sheppard Air Force Base around 7:15 p.m. and spent 45 minutes putting out the blaze.
The Red Cross responded on scene and is now doing what they can to reach all 18 residents.
Robyn Flores is the executive director of the Texas Big Country chapter of the American Red Cross and said coming to the rescue during times of crisis is what they do best.
“We got the dispatch a little after the fire department responded on the scene so we could be in contact with the residents,” Flores said.
As flames engulfed a building at the Summit apartment complex, members of the Red Cross were on the ground and ready to lend a helping hand.
“What we do is kind of an immediate triage. Meet with the residents and try to determine are their needs being met,” Flores said.
Essential services that Wichita Falls Fire Marshal Cody Melton said will be needed as officials investigate what may have caused the fire.
“I spoke with a number of the tenants and they were without renters insurance and so some of them are going through a real tough time right now,” Melton said.
Melton said firefighters believe the fire may have started in the kitchen of one of the 16 apartment units destroyed in the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“With a fire like that, with that much damage in one area, witnesses will be very key in determining what the cause is so we are still interviewing people,” Melton said.
In the meantime, Red Cross workers will continue to provide assistance to those in need.
“My heart breaks for them each and every time this happens but it is a gratifying feeling knowing that we can make a difference,” Flores said.