Four pets killed in a South Austin apartment fire

Nine people are without a home after a late-night fire destroyed a building at the Woods on Barton Skyway apartments on 2901 Barton Skyway.

"I walk out of my door, I turn to the left and I look and it's an inferno." Steven Broes, who lives in the complex, said, "It was very surreal. I didn't know what to make of it at first, I didn't really know how to process it and then I saw all of the people you could really feel everybody was nervous."

Sarah Mayer's apartment was just feet from where the fire began.

"It was scary. I was literally praying that it didn't come over here," she said.

Although her building was not affected, Mayer couldn't help but worry for her neighbors. 

"It felt like a movie and dramatic. One girl was crying who's place was involved. I saw (Firefighters) trying to revive a dog." Mayer said, "Like feeling kind of helpless because you are wanting to help them but you're just going to get in their way and so you're just watching it, unable to do anything."

The Austin Fire Department said the fire started around midnight on a first-floor unit and quickly engulfed the entire building. No one was hurt but several animals were killed.

"We do regret the loss of the two dogs and two cats. Crews did pull one of the dogs out and did some resuscitation on him. Unfortunately the dog passed away at the vet's office," Division Chief Palmer Buck, of the Austin Fire Department, said.

AFD said estimated damages exceed $1 million but for neighbors like Broes, he's happy the price tag did not cost someone's life.

"It was really relieving to know that nobody was hurt because it's Austin and this neighborhood in particular is very friendly. It's like I know a lot of these people, they are my friends. I talk to them in the parking lot, I catch up with them when I can and I love these people. It's really beautiful," he said.

AFD said those affected have been given temporary housing at the complex and are working with the Red Cross to help them recover what was lost.

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