11 blazes keep fire­fight­ers busy

Wind-fu­eled fires leave 1 dead, 68 units in apart­ment com­plex dam­aged or de­stroyed.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - Byjazmine Ul­loa jul­loa@states­man.com states­man.com. Fires

Heavy blazes fu­eled by high winds early Thurs­day left one per­son dead in a house fire in North­west Austin and dam­aged or de­stroyed 68 units of an apart­ment com­plex about six miles away.

Winds of up to 50 mph and very dry air blew into the area along with a cold front early Thurs­day, cre­at­ing an ex­treme fire dan­ger.

Fire­fight­ers in Austin alone had bat­tled 11 blazes by 5 p.m. Thurs­day, the worst of which was re­ported just af­ter 2 a.m. at a house on Kel­lie’s Farm Lane in far North Austin near MoPac Boule­vard (Loop 1) and Scofield Ridge Park­way. Of­fi­cials con­firmed that a body See more pho­tos of Thurs­day’s fires with this story at

Swas found in the rub­ble of the home, though they did not dis­close the per­son’s iden­tity.

Bat­tal­ion Chief Palmer Buck said three of the four young men who lived in the house were awak­ened by smoke alarms and es­caped. The men told in­ves­ti­ga­tors they had seen the fourth room­mate in the house that night.

The winds caused that blaze to spread to the at­tic of a home next door, but that fam­ily was able to es­cape, and crews man­aged to ex­tin­guish the flames, Buck said. The home on the other side sus­tained heat dam­age but res­i­dents did not have to evac­u­ate, he said. The cause of the fire re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Irma Gon­za­les, who lives

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