A four-alarm fire at a Northeast Dallas condo complex destroyed dozens of units on Thursday.
Firefighters believe the fire started somewhere on the first floor of the Sable Ridge Condos on Abrams Road just before 1 p.m.
The fire lasted more than five hours and even caused part of the building to collapse. At least 24 units were destroyed.
The challenge was reaching the heart of the fire, which was located somewhere on the first floor. Residents watched helplessly as their homes crumbled to the ground.
Alfredo Guzman was brought to his knees after coming home from work to discover he no longer has a home.
“I have nothing,” he said. “I have the clothes that's on me right now from working. That's it.”
Catherine Sonnier took cell phone video of the fire as it spread through the building. Sonnier says the roof of the three-story building nearly collapsed underneath Dallas firefighters.
“One of them screamed there's a fire in the chimney,” she recalled. “And they all jumped back on their ladders and got down as fast as they could, and the chimney fell off and the roof collapse.”
“They moved in for an offense of attack. But during that process, the fire had already gotten into the walls and into the floor spaces and spread throughout the entire building,” said Jason Evans with Dallas Fire-Rescue. “In a situation like this, we can't afford to take any chances. So as soon as we know we need to move to a defensive posture that's what we do."
The fire quickly grew to four alarms, requiring a water attack from all sides and above. Firefighters banged on the doors of an adjacent building to warn residents to be ready for a possible evacuation.
Doris Turner moved to Sable Ridge a few years ago after she lost her last condo to a fire.
“I just felt numb,” she said. “I just can't believe this is happening again.”
But Turner reluctantly prepared for the long road ahead.
“I can make it. The good Lord done bless me to make it. My faith is in him,” she said. “That's material things. I'll survive. I'll make it.”
The American Red Cross is assisting displaced residents like Turner with temporary housing. The cause of the fire is unknown at this point. No injuries were reported.
The extent of the damage may make it impossible to determine.