DALLAS - Firefighters have recovered a body from the ruins of a northwest Dallas condo fire.
A spokesman for Dallas Fire Rescue said they made the discovery while searching with a ladder over the area where 89-year-old Jacqueline McDonald lived.
A medical examiner will determine if the remains belong to McDonald, who has been missing since the fire started on Friday.
The 7-alarm fire near Preston Road and Northwest Highway destroyed all 60 units in the complex and put nearly 100 people out of their homes. Firefighters were still dousing the building with water three days after the fire started.
Friends said McDonald had dementia. They were holding onto hope that she possibly wandered off.
“I hope someone will see her, see the face, recognize her somewhere and that she’ll be found,” said Leigh Marks, a family friend.
The fire department said the damage is so extensive and the fire was so intense it will be hard for investigators to determine how it began. They do believe it started in the area where McDonald lived, though.
“The building is still continuing to collapse in places, so it’s a very dangerous place to be,” DFR Deputy Chief Randall Stidham said.
Runoff from battling the fire had flooded the parking garage, where dozens of cars are now under water.
"My two cars are stuck under there in the underground garage," said resident Vincenzo Denardo. "One was a brand new BMW."
Firefighters were still working to determine if it was safe for crews to enter the building. If they cannot get inside, then they will not be able to make a final call on what caused the fire.