11 blazes keep firefighters busy
Wind-fueled fires leave 1 dead, 68 units in apartment complex damaged or destroyed.
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