AUSTIN, Texas- Three Austin Fire Fighters and an Austin Police Officer are recovering in the hospital after suffering injuries in a fire at the Dry Creek West Condominiums.
Lt. Jeremy Burke, firefighter Willie Cook and firefighter Jimmy Casares suffered burns while they were attempting to rescue a potential victim from a room.
"As that fire fight was in progress," Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck said, " the crews had a minor structure collapse that trapped three fire fighters briefly."
Chief Buck said the firefighters were quickly rescued and then transported to Brackenridge Hospital. Firefighter Casares was later taken to the San Antonio Burn Center for additional treatment. The APD Officer suffered smoke inhalation and is spending the night in the hospital.
"There were some pretty scary moments when we were trying to locate the fire fighters," Buck said.
AFD issued a statement on the conditions of the three firefighters, saying:
It's been a long day. But we're happy to report that one of our firefighters has been released from the hospital, one other and the APD officer are being kept overnight for observation, and one is anticipated to be at the Brooke Army Medical Center burn unit for just about a week. Thanks to everyone for your good wishes, thoughts, and prayers.
First Responders were called to the 3800 block of Dry Creek Dr., off of R.R. 2222 around 7:30 A.M. after residents reported hearing loud explosions and then seeing a wall of flames.
"I heard something exploding outside of my window," Morgan Smith, a resident of the complex, said, "and I jumped up and peeked through the blinds and everything was on fire."
Mikayla Watson was visiting her boyfriend, Smith's brother, when she, too, heard the series of "bangs".
"When we were hearing the explosions and then seeing the fire, I immediately thought that 'I don't want our air conditioning to be next' because we were the next unit that was going to get hit if there was something going on because it was like a chain reaction," Watson said.
Over 90 fire fighters, 1/3 of the on-duty personnel, arrived to the scene. There were no reported injuries to any of the residents. 14 rooms were damaged and 40 people were displaced.
"We are going to work with all of those people, along with red cross to make sure they have places to stay and to take care of them," Buck said.
Authorities said there was a total of $2 million of damage to the condo and residents' belongings.