Two small children in hospital following Albuquerque apartment fire

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An infant and another small child are in the hospital, and one person is in custody after a large apartment fire in northeast Albuquerque.

Police are not yet identifying the suspect or saying what they believe led up to the fire, but close to two dozen people are without homes Friday night.

It happened along San Pedro near Montgomery where fire crews say they are waiting out what’s left of the fire. Meanwhile, Albuquerque police say they got a call about the fire before it even happened.

“Stuff was flying out of the building, hitting our windows,” a woman said. “I just heard this ‘Boom!’ and then I just didn’t know what it was.”

The woman and her daughter live across the building from where the fire broke out, and say they’re thankful to be alive.

“I was just trying to get us out of there safe,” she said.

Albuquerque police say just before 5 p.m. they received a call to 911 from the apartments.

“It was a female saying that her sister was in the residence and was trying to light the building on fire,” Officer Daren DeAguero said. “We rushed over here, unfortunately, the building was already in flames.”

Video from Sky News 13 shows the building’s roof collapsed. Crews were able to evacuate everyone from the building, but some were taken to the hospital.

“We did have a search for two small infants. We did locate them, they are being treated,” Officer DeAguero said.

Another person was also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and now, crews are keeping a close eye on the buildings. “At this point, we’re in defensive operations, which means there are no firefighters inside the structure,” AFR spokesman Tom Ruiz said.

Smoke could still be seen coming from the buildings until about 7:30 p.m. “What we’re trying to do is keep the fire contained, keep the smoke contained to that one apartment building, so trying to make sure it doesn’t spread to those other buildings,” Ruiz said.

Many families are just thankful they made it out. “It’s just stuff. Most importantly we’re safe,” they said.

AFR says the Red Cross is on scene helping families get housing. They say 20 people have been displaced by this fire. AFR says the two children and the adult who were taken to the hospital are all stable.

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