LUBBOCK, Texas – Twenty-eight people were left looking for a place to live after Lubbock Fire Rescue responded to a two-alarm fire at the Boulders at Lakeridge Apartments Monday afternoon.
Officials said the fire took nearly five hours to put out, and 24 units were affected. Residents spent Tuesday morning sifting through debris to see what was left before the homes were boarded up for safety.
Parker Stone and his fiancé lost some of their most valuable items in the fire. He said at the time, his fiancé couldn’t find her engagement ring. “It’s very hard because we were just trying to save up for a wedding. And this just set us back another year probably,” said Stone.
Lubbock Fire Rescue confirmed late Monday night the fire started after maintenance workers for the apartment complex were replacing an air conditioner. LFR said employees were soldering a copper line a few inches away from the exterior wall where it was cut from the old condenser unit.
After the crew left to get supplies, there was “no sign of fire at the time.”
However, the resident on the other side of the AC unit said she saw smoke coming from her fireplace. When she touched the wall, she said it felt hot. The fire was reported 30 minutes later.
The fire spread up the resident’s chimney and continued through the attic of the 24 units, according to LFR. Some of the residents that were displaced said they were diabetic or have seizures. The Red Cross stepped in to help get their emergency refills.
Thomas Kupfer, the Disaster Action Team Supervisor said, “We reached out to local pharmacies to make sure that these medications could be replaced immediately.”
For now, the neighbors are left looking for a new place to live. Parker’s mom, Karla, said “We’re going to organize it, see what we can salvage, and we’re probably going to have to get a storage unit. Then we’ll start apartment hunting.”
No one was injured in the fire, and it appeared that all pets made it out safely.