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Dallas Condo Building a Total Loss After 4-Alarm Fire

A Northwest Dallas condominium building will be demolished after a 4-alarm ripped through all 24 units Friday. Firefighters were still watching hot spots Friday night. Despite the damage, no people were injured but some pets were lost.

When firefighters arrived at the Forest West Condominiums in the 3000 block of Forest Lane just after noon Friday, they reported smoke coming through the roof of the 3-story building.

While knocking on doors to alert residents, firefighters entered the building to try to find the source of the fire. When they came out, flames were shooting through the roof.

"An elderly couple lived downstairs. They got them out. They lost a cat unfortunately," said witness John Vazquez.

Dallas Fire-Rescue elevated the fire from two to three alarms at about 1 p.m. As firefighters began trying to douse the blaze from above using ladder hoses, more flames erupted through the roof.

For a short time, firefighters stopped putting water on the fire so they could better locate the source of the flames. As the fire continued to spread, a fourth alarm was called at about 1:40 p.m.

Residents of an adjacent building scrambled to evacuate as firefighters worked to contain the blaze.

"I was in my apartment with my daughter and I said what is that noise," said resident Isela Alvarez. "Then I open the window and I see a lot of smoke and it’s terrible. Oh my God, it’s a fire. And I told my husband, 'lets go.'"

By 4 p.m., firefighters had most of the fire out and were working on the last remaining hot spots.

"The building sustained significant damage throughout, and had multiple internal collapses. As a result, heavy equipment was requested to bring the structure down. Additional crews will remain on-scene, to monitor for underlying hot spots, while the demolition is done," said Jason Evans, DFR public information officer, Friday afternoon.

The American Red Cross is now on scene to assist residents. A Red Cross spokesperson said 55 people from the 24 units had requested support Friday evening.

The apartment building is located across the street from the Cinemark 17 IMAX theater, near Webb Chapel Road and Interstate 635. Heavy smoke was seen blowing north over nearby Interstate 635, east of Interstate 35E, slowing traffic on the freeway.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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