UPDATE 4:10: Captain Bob Johnson of the Amarillo Fire Department said the cause of the fire is undetermined, but they were able to rule out arson. The fire has been ruled as accidental/undetermined.
Seventeen people, three separate families, were left homeless by the fire, including four children ages four and under. The famlies lost virtually everything in the fire. The Texas Panhandle Chapter of the Red Cross, are currently assisting the families, with temporary housing, food, and clothes. The Red Cross is dependent on donations from those who live here in the Panhandle. You can help those affected by home fires and other emergencies by making a financial donation to the Texas Panhandle Chapter by mail or in person at 1800 S. Harrison, Amarillo, Texas 79102, by phone at 806-376-6309 or on the web at www.amarillo.redcross.org.
A release from the Amarillo Fire Department says that all occupants of the building did make it out safely. Two Amarillo Police officers were treated for smoke inhalation.
The release states that the occupants were very fortunate to make it out of the fire unscathed, because there were no functional smoke alarms present.
It also confirms that the structure was a multi family dwelling consisting of 3 units. A total of 7 trucks, and 22 firefighters battled the inferno at 90 N. Florida, which took nearly 2 hours to get under control. The building is considered a total loss, with estimated damages around $60,000.
There is not a cause listed for the blaze, and it remains under investigation.
A fire broke out in the San Jacinto neighborhood around 9:30 Thursday night.
The Amarillo Fire Department was called to the intersection of 1st and Florida on a structure fire.
Witnesses on the scene told ProNews 7 the entire structure was consumed by flames. The structure looked like a home, however, reports indicate the home could have been converted into a multi-family residence.
A third alarm was called after fire officials arrived on scene. Multiple crews from the Amarillo Fire Department battled the blaze, scanner traffic indicated firefighters had to take a defensive stand against the blaze.
The scene quickly turned into a spectacle, as people from the surrounding neighborhood turned out to watch the fire.
While witnesses on the scene told our crews everyone made it out of the home, fire officials would not confirm that.
The investigation into the fire is ongoing, there is no word on what caused the fire to start.