One person is dead after a house fire in north Austin Thursday morning. Strong winds fueled several fires throughout the city, which left homes badly burned, traffic halted and many people displaced from their homes.
About 65 people at the International Residence Apartments at 9811 Copper Creek Drive off of U.S. HWY 183 had to be evacuated this morning after fire tore through the complex, completely destroying three buildings on the property. Authorities received a call about the fire between 1:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., and battled the blaze for hours before finally getting it under control.
According to fire officials, the blaze started in one building and spread to the others. Seven different fire units had to come out to assist in fighting the fire. Capital Metro sent out two buses to help transport the survivors from the scene.
Officials are still working to discover the exact cause of the fire. Some residents of the complex have told FOX 7 that cigarettes may have caused the fire. There are no reports of injuries or death.
Another house fire in north Austin left one person dead, a home destroyed and another home damaged this morning. Austin firefighters responded to 13125 Kellies Farm Lane, at around 2:45 a.m. and found the home fully engulfed in flames.
There were four people in the home at the time of the fire—all said to be around 27 years of age. Three of them were able to make it out safely. Firefighters were unable to go into the home immediately to find the fourth resident due to the structural damage sustained to the home, and had to wait for daylight before conducting their search.
The fire spread to a neighboring home, but all of the residents made it out safely. The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.
The 6500 block of Ed Bluestein Blvd. was closed in all directions for a short period this morning due to a 3-acre brush fire that was threatening homes and other structures, as well as a power outage in the area that affected nearly two thousand people. Electricity has since been restored and lanes of traffic have been reopened.
Firefighters stayed on the scene observing the area until the fire was completely extinguished, because of the high winds and potential for the embers to spark another fire.
The exact cause of the brush fire is unknown at this time.