Just before 1 am Thursday, Huntsville Fire Department responded to a reported apartment fire at the Aztec Apartments at 1111 8th Street in Huntsville. Units arrived on the scene to find the two-story apartment building with heavy smoke and fire. They immediately called for help from additional departments followed by a second alarm. Huntsville firefighters along with New Waverly, Crabbs Prairie, Dodge, Riverside, and North Montgomery County Fire Department fought the blaze in the structure that was built back in 1965.
Eight units in one building were totally destroyed by fire. Several units in an adjacent building suffered smoke, water, and heat damage. One resident lost a dog and several cats. One resident, Lucianna Astorga, who is a music major in her senior year at Sam Houston University and is studying to be an opera singer is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and lived in the rear upstairs apartment. She believes the blaze started below her. She first heard a glass break followed by a flickering outside her window. That is when she realized the building was on fire. She said it was scary with no light and heavy smoke making it to safety. She lost everything.
Tiffany Elkins, who lived in the adjacent building with her mother and daughter also heard glass break and looked out to see flames. A woman was seen breaking out the windows which actually fed the fire new oxygen. This caused extensive flames and she said a lot of heat as they escaped. Her apartment suffered water damage and her front door was kicked in as rescuers searched for any victims. Her neighbor’s apartment suffered broken glass, heat, smoke, and water damage. Huntsville Fire Department Assistant Chief Trey Lamb said the fire will be investigated. He reports no injuries. Butch Davis with the Walker County Emergency Management also responded to the scene and with the help of the Red Cross started to locate facilities for the victims of the blaze. Firefighters remain on the scene at 5 am watching for hot spots.