Valley Ranch fire decimates 13 apartment units


Karen Lu

Apartment building 8821 at Reflections at Valley Ranch is fenced off from the rest of the complex. On Saturday, a fire destroyed all 13 of 8821’s units, showing extensive damage and financial costs.

Karen Lu, Daily News/Assignment Editor

On Saturday at 7:19 p.m., the Irving Fire Department received a call reporting a fire for apartment complex Reflections at Valley Ranch. 

While the cause of the fire is undetermined and the investigation report is currently incomplete, the cost is estimated to be $1 million, hinting towards the extent of the damage of building 8821. Firefighters worked overnight to successfully extinguish the fire. 

“The section that was heavily burnt had to be torn down to prevent collapse,” Irving Fire Marshal Derek Austin said. “Generally whenever that happens, insurance companies just total the entire building. The cost will be the value of the entire building, which is approximately for a three-story apartment building around $1 to $1.2 million.”

Photo courtesy Joseph Guerrero
Irving Fire Department arrives at Reflections at Valley Ranch on Saturday to extinguish the fire. Thirteen apartment units were destroyed by the fire with an estimated cost of $1 million.

No injuries were reported, but that does not signify an absence of burdens for those previously residing in 8821. The fire destroyed all 13 apartment units in 8821, destroying several possessions and forcing those 13 families to relocate. 

“Whenever there’s a fire, we get [the victims] in contact with Red Cross,” Austin said. “The Red Cross has helped them relocate. There were two families that went and stayed with family members, and there were 11 other families that were relocated by Red Cross.” 

Coppell High School senior Ibrahim Marvi lives in Reflections apartment building 8825, located directly across 8821, and was present when the fire began.

“I was on my phone, and I heard people screaming outside that there was a huge fire,” Marvi said. “My dad and I ran outside, and we saw that whole building burning down. People were screaming. The fire wasn’t going away. It was increasing by the second.”

This incident is not the first of its kind for Reflections. On July 26, 2018, a fire from a separate apartment building within Reflections was reported, with the cause reported as smoking material left on a first floor back porch.

Karen Lu
Apartment building 8821 at Reflections at Valley Ranch collapsed due to the fire on Saturday. The estimated cost is $1 million and 13 families have been forced to relocate.

“People generally smoke cigarettes out on the back porch and then just throw the cigarette butts out into the grass, and it can get into the dry leaves,” Austin said. “In this particular case, there were a lot of dry leaves up underneath the bushes that were along the back patios. It’s suspected that’s what started the fire. If people would be more responsible with their smoking materials, we would have less fires.”

Compared to Saturday, the fire from last July incurred less damages, totalling $125,000. 

“In that fire, it was just two or three units that were affected,” Austin said. “The dollar amount didn’t reach the value of the entire building. There was more damage on the fire this last weekend because it got into the attic.”

With two fires in as many years at Reflections, a sense of worry has been instilled in the other residents.

“It’s the second time in two years,” Marvi said. “It’s kind of scary. I feel like it might happen to our apartments, so I’m kind of scared now.”

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