ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque Firefighters with the help of a KAFB Ladder worked through the night and made tremendous progress on the extinguishment of the fire at an apartment complex on the city's Southeast side. Meanwhile, two firefighters injured in the blaze have been released from the hospital and are doing fine.
AFD will be rotating Engines and Ladders throughout the day to extinguish hot spots.
Ice melt has been spread on the neighboring streets surrounding the complex to prevent falls from the standing water.
AFD responded to the Royal Crown Apartment Complex at 4801 Gibson SE at 3:00pm Feb. 4, 2011.
First units on scene reported a heavy amount of smoke and flames on the interior of the North side of the complex burning from the 2nd floor extending to the 3rd floor.
Firefighters entered the front door and advanced a hose line to search for occupants and extinguish the fire. Engine 13 firefighters rescued two occupants from one apartment. A cat was also saved by Firefighters and is doing well at Animal Welfare's East Side Shelter. Animal Welfare found a microchip in the cat, has identified the cat owner and is trying to locate them at this time.
Early in the fight, two firefighters fell through fire weaken floors. The first firefighter fell from the third story to the second. The second firefighter fell from the second floor to the first while trying to render aide to his fallen comrade. The two firefighters were transported to UNM with leg injuries. One of the firefighters had minor burns to the ear. Both have been treated, released and are resting at home.
At 3:40pm, the Incident Commander made the decision to defensivley fight the fire from the outside and firefighters were evacuated from the interior of the building.
A 3rd Alarm was called because of the injured firefighters and heavy fire conditions. There are currently 45 firefighters on scene fighting the blaze
Kirtland Air Force Base Fire Department is assisting with crew rotation by providing a ladder truck and crew. In all, there are 18 fire trucks on scene.
Firefighters are still fighting the fire. The gas and power was shut off in the area. Firefighters are coordinating the restoration of gas and electric utilities to nearby homes with utility companies. Because of the freezing temperature, AFD has activated it's incident support team to provide shelter, hot food and water to firefighters working in freezing temperatures with the assistance of the American Red Cross.
The city's Transit Department has provided two buses - one for firefighters to warm up, the other to transport displaced fire victims to Highland High School, where the Red Cross has set up a shelter. There are about 75 people who reside in the 47 unit complex. About 25 were transported by city bus to the Red Cross Shelter.
Red Cross assisted 21 residents at the Highland HS shelter overnight. Red Cross is now gathering information from the occupants to determine temporary housing.
The structure is more than likely a complete loss with several collapsed areas. The cause and it's origin is still under investigation.
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