LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- Investigators say a candle sparked a fire that gutted an apartment building in Longview. It happened just after midnight in the one thousand block of Oden Street.
It was a cool night and residents had left their windows open to feel the breeze. Regina Carter says she had just blown out a candle she had burning in her window.
"It wasn't 30 seconds and I hear beep-beep-beep, and I said, 'no way', because I knew I blew the candle out," Carter said.
Investigators said the wind blew the curtains into the candle's path.
"It was just right at the edge of the curtains, then it was the whole room," Carter said. "By the time they got here it spread so fast it was all the way out the front and it started at the far back."
Carter quickly got to her other neighbors to get them out. They scrambled out with the clothes on their backs. Windows began to pop and blow out as the fire jumped into the attic.
"When they were trying to put out the fire, the windows went 'boom'," said fellow resident Jose Perez.
"The use of open flames or even electric space heaters close to combustibles can cause a fire," said Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zachary.
For Carter, it's a lesson she won't soon forget, seeing all her possessions in a burning heap.
"I'm watching them throw all my stuff out the window, and I was just overwhelmed," Carter said.
No one was injured, and all of the residents are being assisted by the Longview Red Cross.