Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breaking News: Galveston Condo Fire

Massive fire destroys dozens of beachfront condos in Galveston
06:50 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 3, 2009

By Michelle Homer / 11 News
GALVESTON -- Every firefighter in Galveston battled a huge 5-alarm fire on the island's West End Wednesday afternoon. The blaze at the beachfront Miravilla Resort Condominiums burned out of control for several hours.

The fire broke out around 2:15 p.m. and Galveston fire crews were on the scene minutes later.

Even off-duty Galveston firefighters were called in to help battle the blaze.

They also brought in help from surrounding communities including Jamaica Beach, Texas City, La Marque and Santa Fe.

When Air 11 first arrived, the flames were confined to one corner of the complex.

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Within minutes, the fire had spread to dozens of other units. There are 164 units in the complex.

"We went from an offensive to a defensive fire real quick to not put the firefighters in harm's way because the fire was spreading so quickly," said Galveston Fire Chief Mike Varela.

The wind shifted in the middle of the fire, adding to their challenge.

Everyone inside was evacuated safely, according to Galveston officials.

The flames spread quickly through dozens of units at the Miravilla condos.
One firefighter was transported to an area hospital after suffering heat exhaustion.

"His blood pressure was down real low and they were trying to get it stable again," said Varela.


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