McKinney Fire Department (MFD) responded to a structure fire at 2520 W. Virginia at 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday.
The initial report indicated a mattress on fire in a first floor apartment. When MFD crews arrived they found the apartment fully involved in flames. The fire spread quickly to all units in the structure, resulting in extensive damage to eight apartments, and leaving 32 residents in need of shelter.
MFD units arriving on scene were met by McKinney Police Officer René Fernandez, who was patrolling the area at the time of the call and saw smoke coming from the apartment. Fernandez warned residents in adjacent units of the rapidly spreading fire and assisted three people in escaping.
MFD spokesperson Stacie Durham said, “While this fire is a tragedy for the individuals who lost their home and belongings, the actions of Officer Fernandez may have prevented the loss of multiple lives. His response and assistance may have prevented a catastrophe.”
A total of 17 MFD units and 35 personnel responded to the fire. Two residents were transported by McKinney ambulance to area hospitals with injuries believed to be non-life-threatening.
The American Red Cross is establishing a shelter for displaced residents and are working with other social services agencies to meet the needs of the displaced individuals and have stated that no donations of goods are needed.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The Life Safety Education office of the MFD reminds residents that fire and smoke are fast and deadly. “This incident is a good reminder for all of us to check our smoke alarms monthly and to replace batteries annually. Smoke alarms save lives,” said Durham. “We have a program to help with smoke alarm and battery replacement for individuals needing assistance. Don’t take a chance. If you need an alarm or help in checking or changing your battery, call our office at 972-547-2850.”
For additional information on the programs and services of the McKinney Fire Department visit www.mckinneyfire.org.
Submitted by Stacie Durham, McKinney Fire Department
Photos courtesy of First Response Photography