Vidor fire damages two apartments

Fire damaged two units at Waterfall Apartments in Vidor.

Orange County Emergency Services District No. 1 responded to a fire Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Waterfall Apartments in Vidor.

About 2:12 p.m., the department received a call of a fire at a duplex apartment on Luther Circle and was on the scene at 2:17 p.m. The fire was extinguished around 20 minutes later, said Orange County Emergency Services District No. 1 Fire Chief Bryant Champagne.

“We responded there with a report of light smoke visible,” Champagne said. “Upon first unit arriving, it was seen that there was a little bit of heavier smoke coming out of the … front left corner of the building, coming out of the window and the eaves. Firefighters were able to make entry into the front door to the back left building and were able to extinguish the (severe) part of the fire there.”

The fire, however, extended into the attic of the apartment, Champagne said.

“This pushed it up and over to the other bedrooms, the living room and the kitchen area. This being a duplex or a duel apartment, it had a common attic,” he said. “We were concerned about extension into the other end of the apartment. We attempted to not break out any of the ceiling or take down any of the ceiling in the other apartment, but due to the extensive heat of the fire and the blown-in insulation in the attic, we had to take down a little of the living room in the adjacent apartment to make sure that there was no fire extension.”

The apartment where the fire started sustained substantial smoke and fire damage, and the adjacent apartment received damage, as well, from the fire extending through the attic, Champagne said.

Champagne said the cause of the fire was undetermined and the tenant was not there when firefighters arrived on scene.

Denny Janise, a neighbor of the tenant, and Melissa Durham, a cashier at Super Star convenient store about a block away from the apartment, said they saw the tenant, a female, leaving the scene of the fire and heading north on Main Street towards downtown.

A call to Vidor Police Department dispatcher Milli Malmberg revealed that a female was found shirtless near Market Basket around 3:41 p.m. in the 800 block of North Main Street and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Malmberg said she could not confirm that this was the tenant of the apartment that caught fire.

Neighbors of the tenant who asked not to be named said she had some problems and that ambulances and police visited her house on a regular basis.

No injuries were reported from the fire, Champagne said.