- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DALLAS (AP) - A fire at a senior citizens apartment complex in Dallas left two people dead and several hurt early Wednesday, a fire official said.

Two bodies were discovered in an upper-floor unit where the blaze apparently started, said Jason Evans, a Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman. Firefighters had extinguished the fire and were searching the four-story structure when they found the victims, Evans said.

Authorities are trying to determine what sparked the fire that was reported just after 2 a.m., Evans said.

The complex is home to about 300 senior residents, many with mobility issues, he said. Firefighters helped some residents climb down truck ladders from upper-level balconies and helped others to walk out of the building.

Names of the two people who died and the cause of their deaths were not immediately released.

Five other people were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and other breathing problems, Evans said. Those injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Several other people were examined at the scene, he said.

Gatewood Apartments manager Sheana Thomas said staff at the complex are searching for new homes for the residents.

“We are trying to make sure that everyone who has been displaced has a place go to,” Thomas said. Gatewood is a community for seniors but does not provide assisted living services.

The American Red Cross was also providing help.


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