A woman who left her cooking unattended accidentally started a fire Tuesday at an East Dallas apartment complex, authorities said.

Firefighters responded at 6:15 p.m. to the Casa Bonita Apartments at 3550 Saint Francis Ave. Upon arrival, they saw flames blazing from the roof of the two-story building. 

Witnesses told firefighters not all residents had escaped, so first responders went door to door until they confirmed all individuals had reached safety. They rescued a resident in a wheelchair during the evacuation, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

Once the building was clear, firefighters extinguished the fire within an hour.

Investigators said the cause of the fire was accidental. When the woman who was cooking returned to the kitchen, she saw the flames and ran to safety. The flames then spread from her first-floor unit to the second floor and attic, causing a significant amount of damage, Evans said. Responders noted smoke and water damage in four units.

Many residents were displaced, but none was injured. During cleanup, a firefighter who was overheated was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover, Evans said. 


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