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Woman dies in early morning fire

By Sonny Long
May 27, 2010 at 12:27 a.m.

Fire crew cleans out a Stratford Place apartment after an early morning fire. Residents affected by the fire have been placed in local hotels by the Red Cross.

A woman died in an early morning fire at Stratford Place Apartments at 3207 E. Airline Road.

The Victoria Fire Department responded to the fire call at 3:06 a.m. and upon arrival found an apartment fully involved in flames, said Battalion Chief Roger Hempel.

The woman's name has not been released pending notification of next of kin, Hempel said.

The first crews in battled heavy fire and smoke and had the fire knocked down enough within about 10 minutes to enter the apartment and discovered the woman's body.

Firefighting efforts continued for about 45 minutes, Hempelsaid.

Residents in 16 apartments in the unit where the fire occurred the were evacuated.

Hempel said the Red Cross assisted with relocating those residents to Victoria motels.

In addition to the apartment where the fire started, the apartment above it received major damage and two other apartments received minor damage, Hempel said.

Hempel said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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