Fire Destroys Huntsville Apartment Complex

By: KBTX Staff
By: KBTX Staff

Fire officials say Monday's fire at a Huntsville Apartment complex may have been caused by lightning. During the preliminary investigation, several residents reported hearing loud claps of thunderwhen the fire started. Also, officials say the way the roof burned is a sign, lightning did play a part.
Red cross has also stepped in to help, giving vouchers for clothing and furniture as well as gift cards to be spent where needed.

Thirty families have been moved to new homes after a fire ripped through their Huntsville Apartment Complex. The fire started between 3 and 4 o'clock Monday morning at the Sam Houston Apartments. About 45 people were evacuated, and the complex was destroyed. Officials say they're still investigating a cause.

It's what Steve Countz is trained to do, help. But this time his job was different.

"It looks like a catastrophe, it looks like something you see in a movie," Countz said.

Countz was at the fire station when the alarm went off, this time he heard his address come over the scanner. He lives in Apartment 312.

"My heart pretty much sunk I just knew I was going to come home to nothing," Countz said.

That was the case for most residents, left with only shattered windows, caved in roofs, sidewalks covered in wood and bricks, and a few belongings untouched by the flames.

The damage the fire caused here is severe, up on the second floor its been completely gutted, and little to nothing remains, on the first floor there's been severe water and smoke damage.

Residents spent the morning cleaning debris, and packing, just thankful none of their neighbors were hurt.

"I was just kind of worried that it would get all the way over to me, I was also worried that everybody else got out and all that naturally," Resident Josh Hintze said.

As for Countz damage is part of his job, but this time it hit home.

" I don't know whether to sit down and cry or you know I want to just keep and try to help these people salvage what they can and stay here and help these people, being a part of a community I live in I want to try to do what I can," Countz said.

And he has, helping those who have lost everything, while concealing his own pain.

All of the residents have been moved to other apartment complexes under the same management.


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