AUSTIN (KXAN) — An elderly woman and two cats are dead after a condo fire off Metric Boulevard near Walnut Creek in north Austin Wednesday afternoon.
AFD said the call came in at 3:30 p.m., after neighbors reported fire coming out of the windows of a unit in the 12000 block of Metric Boulevard, near Park Bend Drive. The department said the first crews arrived three minutes after the call, and the fire was knocked down by 3:40 p.m.
Firefighters searching the condo where the fire started found an elderly woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:51 p.m. AFD said its investigators are working with Austin Police and the medical examiner to find out more about her death. An autopsy is pending.
Four condos were damaged in all, displacing at least five people. There was $200,000 in damages on the building and $75,000 in damages on personal items.
The cause of the fire was found to be improperly discarded smoking material, AFD said later on Wednesday. AFD said crews on scene reported there wasn’t a smoke detector in the condo where the fire originated from.
“Please, please, we encourage all our viewers that smoke detectors are the cheapest form of life insurance, and to make sure that you not only have them but that they are functioning properly,” urged AFD Assistant Chief Andre de la Reza.