Deadly Apartment Fire East Of Longview

At least one person is dead, after an apartment complex caught fire early this morning. The fire began at the Pinehurst Apartments just east of Longview, around 5 this morning, and quickly spread. Five apartments were engulfed even before the fire department arrived.

Authorities have confirmed one fatality, with two others missing.

Eight engines and two ladder trucks came out, but major damage had already been sustained. Sixteen units were destroyed, and that means sixteen families have been displaced-- their belongings destroyed less than two weeks before Christmas.

The investigation proceeds slowly, as the national response team is called in. The scene is being held so that a dozen experts can determine what happened.

As firefighters wait and investigate, a rundown of the apartments' residents reveals they fear the worst. "Right now, we have three that are confirmed to... they should have been at work, they're not there. Their vehicles are here. It doesn't look very good," says Clay Alexander with the A.T.F.

This morning, the Red Cross and Salvation Army were both on scene almost immediately, providing assistance to the now-homeless residents.

The Apartment Association of Longview is also helping to try and find them homes for the rest of the month.

The full investigation will begin tomorrow. They think it will take several days before the exact cause of the fire is known.