Apartment Fire in Southwest Houston

WHAT: Apartment Fire

WHEN: April 1, 2018 at 5:46 p.m.

WHERE: 6300 W. Bellfort Ave, 77035

INJURIES: One firefighter treated on scene for exhaustion.

DAMAGE: $340 thousand in estimated damage, 9 units.

CAUSE: HFD Arson Investigators determined the cause of the fire was due to a BBQ Pit on the patio of one of the apartment units.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Firefighters arrived on scene to find fire coming from the first and second floor balconies of a 2-story, 9-unit apartment building. The fire was contained with crews from HFD Stations 21, 48, 51, 59, 68, 73 and 82 responding to the incident. The American Red Cross was contacted to assist the 9 displaced families. The apartment owner was also on scene to assist the families. Four vehicles were also damaged. HFD cleared the scene at 10:40 p.m.

The Houston Fire Department would like to remind citizens to be extra vigilant in activities that may lead to fires, including improper use of a barbeque pit or improper disposal of barbeque coals, ashes or briquettes and carelessly discarded smoking materials.

Barbeque Grill Safety Tips:

- Portable barbecue pits, charcoal grills and other open-flame cooking devices outside of a building should not be operated on combustible balconies or located within 10 feet of combustible walls or roofs or other combustible materials.

- When igniting the barbecue charcoal, citizens should use a charcoal lighter, not gasoline. Gasoline can flash violently in and around the pit causing serious injuries to anyone in the area of the flash. A fire extinguisher or charged garden hose should be handy while the fire is burning. Check the pit frequently to insure that it is okay.

- Hot ash and coals from barbecue pits and charcoal burners should be placed in a non-combustible container until cooled or thoroughly saturated with water, before being disposed of.