The Wichita Falls Fire Marshal estimates about half a million dollars in damages was caused by the Woodlands Apartment on Monday
The official cause of the fire was determined Monday as an accidental cutting of an electrical wire by maintenance crews at the complex.
Firefighters from the Wichita Falls Fire Department battled flames that broke out at the Woodlands Apartment Complex. A total of 45 firefighters and 15 units were on scene working nonstop through the hot temperatures to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings.
The WFFD first went on the offensive attack but after about 5 minutes, the fire broke through the roof. At that point, they pulled everyone out of the building and switched to their defensive plan.
"We searched all the apartments to make sure there were no residents inside the apartments. We basically set up our aerials, the ladder tracks and sprayed water from above the roof" said WFFD Chief Earl Foster.
According to Fire Equipment Operator Mathew Shugart, team work is what helped put the fire out in just an hour and a half.
"Different people take care of gas, electricity, utilities. Some put the fire out, others do search and rescue. A combined effort is what extinguished the whole fire" he said.
Fire crews couldn't help but become dehydrated with heavy gear and hot temperatures. That's why the American Red Cross immediately stepped up by bringing their canteen truck and hundreds of water bottles.
"We don't want a firefighter to go down because he didn't have anything to drink. We don't want the victims to suffer more loss because of being dehydrated. It can make you sick, so we're just here making sure all that's taken care of" said American Red Cross Executive Director, Katrina Farmer.
Sheppard Air Force Base firefighters also helped out by bringing their tinder truck that holds up to 4000 gallons of water. By using this truck, the WFFD was able to stop using water from the hydrants and pull directly from the truck.