1 hurt in assisted living center fire

Published On: Dec 13 2012 01:00:19 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2012 05:21:53 PM CST

Dec. 13, 2010: A two-alarm fire burns at a north Houston assisted living center. A resident says his smoking caused the fire. Phil Archer reports.

HOUSTON -

A two-alarm fire burned at a north Houston assisted living center on Thursday.

The blaze broke out on the second floor of the Lyerly Apartments on Lyerly near Fulton about 12:15 p.m.

Resident John Baker said the fire started when smoked a cigarette and used a plastic bowl as an ashtray. He said he put the cigarette in the bowl and it burned though and quickly spread.

"Tried to put it out, tried to throw it in the sink. I don't like to throw water on top of furniture or whatever because what I've got is what I own," Baker said. "It flared. As soon as the plastic bowl burned through to the table, it was out of control."

Firefighters said one woman broke a window and they rescued her with a ladder truck. They also helped many of the nearly 100 residents evacuate the building.

"Firefighters were actually rescuing people down the stairwells because the facility is staffed with stair chairs. Stair chair is a chair with wheels, almost like a dolly, specifically for this facility on every other floor," Capt. Ruy Lozano said.

Residents who live on the first three floors will be moved to other units in the building, officials said.

One woman was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Her condition has not been released.

The fire was extinguished about 12:50 p.m.

Gallery

Photos: Fire at assisted-living facility