Apartment fire leaves dozens homeless

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Fire Department is investigating an apartment fire that left at least 40 people Saturday night without a home.

AFD was called to an apartment complex at 1512 Wheless Lane, south of U.S. Highway 290 shortly before 10 p.m.

Crews found heavy fire coming from a second-story apartment when they arrived, according to AFD PIO Josh Portie.

“Our biggest priority is life safety,” Portie said. “So we were focused on trying to evacuate the structures to get people out of harm’s way, as well as attacking the fire.”

Portie says draft stops in the attic helped keep most of the heat and fire damage contained to one apartment. However, seven other units were affected by smoke and water damage.

It took crews about 15 minutes to get the fire under control.

As of Sunday, 15 people are still without a home, and the American Red Cross is helping them. Meanwhile, the damages total around $400,000, and officials have not said what caused the fire.

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