$4.3M in damages following apartment building fire in North Austin

Two Austin firefighters were injured battling a three-alarm fire at a residential building in North Austin.

The three-alarm fire started just after 7:30 p.m. on August 15 at a building off Research Boulevard, north of Balcones Woods Drive.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames and smoke coming from the building's roof.

The fire reportedly started on a second-floor balcony and spread to the attic. The Austin Fire Department says the first was under control by 9:30 p.m.

"Crews on arrival found that the balcony on the second floor of the three-story portion of the building was heavily involved. It had already extended up into the attic," said Division Chief Smith.

Crews fought the fire for about 2.5 hours before finally getting the flames under control.

"There's a lot of unprotected wood in the attic that produces those dramatic flame heights that you see because that's just pure raw wood burning from all the trusses in the attic," said Division Chief Smith.

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The fire was ruled accidental with two possible causes.

"One was improperly discarded smoking material, but there was also a bug zapper that was plugged in, so there's an electrical component. Because of the destruction, we can't discern between the two of which one actually was," said Division Chief Smith.

AFD says 14 people, including one child, were displaced because of the fire and over $4 million worth of damage was caused.

In the end, AFD wants to remind the public accidental fires can happen at any moment, and it is important to be aware especially with smoking materials.

"We just have to stress that you have to have something to dispose of your smoking materials, whether that's a glass jar, a metal pail with a lid. We had a house fire, you know, significantly burned home last week from that cause. We've seen all sorts of roadside fires, you know, with the dry conditions from just, you know, putting the butts outside your car while you're driving. So it's a huge problem for us and, you know, the rest of the city," he said.

Two firefighters were also taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.