Houston Fire "Under Control," Building Destroyed by Blaze


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A fire that destroyed a large, $50 million luxury apartment complex under construction in Houston was under control by mid-afternoon on Tuesday, according to authorities.

The Houston Fire Department said the five-alarm fire, which drew hundreds of emergency personnel to the scene, was under control about two-and-a-half hours after it started.

Ninety construction workers who had been in the high-rise building in Montrose were forced to evacuate the five-story complex when the noontime blaze broke out. All of the workers have been accounted for, and no injuries have been reported. The Houston Fire Department rescued one construction worker trapped  on an upstairs balcony seconds before he would have been engulfed in flames.

Roughly 200 emergency personnel responded to the scene with 80 pieces of equipment.

The fire was first reported at roughly 12:30 p.m., and was upgraded to a five-alarm fire an hour later. Much of the building was reduced to rubble Tuesday.

The 396-unit complex in the 2400 block of West Dallas, known as the Axis Apartments, was to open to tenants in June.

Adjacent properties, including the historic Magnolia Cemetery, received minor water and fire damage.

High winds made it difficult to control the fire, which destroyed the complex, and damaged some vehicles parked nearby. At least a dozen trees were also affected by the fire.

There is speculation the fire may have been sparked off by a welder, but the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Image via Wikimedia Commons