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19 Feb, 2021 10:23

Texas apartment block collapses as firefighters can’t retrieve water from frozen hydrants (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Texas apartment block collapses as firefighters can’t retrieve water from frozen hydrants (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Some 130 residents were evacuated from a Texas apartment complex which later collapsed due to a massive blaze. Responding fire crews were met by frozen fire hydrants which greatly hampered their efforts.

Firefighters with the San Antonio Fire Department and various volunteer crews battled the blaze amid water shortages, pressure issues and freezing conditions. 

The fire began at roughly 1pm local time on Thursday and eventually spread to cars in the complex’s adjacent parking lot. The fire reportedly broke out on the second floor of the complex shortly after residents received an alert to turn off their water heaters. 

Eyewitness footage from the scene shows the desperate circumstances in which the fire crews were forced to operate, as the blaze consumed the building and they repeatedly ran out of water to fight it.

Tenders from across the region, each carrying between 2,000 and 3,000 gallons of water, were called upon to assist in battling the fire and keep firefighters at the scene supplied, using a makeshift pool. However, these intermittent supplies were exhausted in a matter of minutes given the scale of the blaze.

The local fire department was already down a fire engine after one crew overturned their vehicle amid the icy conditions.

The cause of the fire remains unknown but there were no injuries reported. 

Water is reportedly due to be restored to the area on Friday but will come too late for the scores of now-displaced residents during the extreme cold snap afflicting the Lone Star State in recent days. 

At least 37 deaths occurred in eight states, 21 in Texas, during the recent cold snap. Some respite will come over the weekend as temperatures are predicted to stay above freezing.

Also on rt.com As Texans struggle to get food & water, record-breaking freeze is so cold it’s confusing weather satellites

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