AUSTIN (KXAN) — First responders arrived at an apartment complex in southeast Austin in response to a fire Sunday morning.
Austin Fire said the fire was on the first floor at a complex in the 1900 block of Willow Creek Drive, and seven occupants escaped through rear windows.
“There were no working smoke alarms to alert them and they were all injured bailing out of the windows,” AFD said.
Lucas Molina lives at the complex and said he was rushed out of his unit by a firefighter. He also didn’t have a working smoke detector.
“I actually didn’t have my smoke detector plugged in because the battery was dead. I had just taken it out just the day before,” he said. “I’m gonna fix it. I’m going to work and grabbing some batteries.”
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are required of properties in the City of Austin. Lyndsay Hanes with Metric Property Management explained that even though she’s not tied to this property, it’s up to property owners to provide and maintain alarms, but they need tenants’ help.
“Texas property code outlines that smoke alarms are required. The locations, testing and power capabilities for smoke alarms,” Hanes said. “Most rental housing providers have periodic inspections and preventative maintenance that we do, but the resident being in the home every day is going to be the best person to report those problems with us.”
The City of Austin told KXAN no citations have been issued for the apartment complex over the past two years and that no complaints have been made tied to fire alarms.
Austin-Travis County EMS responded to assist AFD. ATCEMS said six ambulances and two commanders responded. EMS physician assistants also responded and were treating about 6 patients, according to ATCEMS.
AFD said EMS took one person to the hospital with serious injuries not considered life-threatening.
AFD said the cause of the fire was under investigation.