Sunday’s Duncanville Fire Brings Community Together

people watching apartment fire
Photo courtesy City of Duncanville

Fire At 800 Link Apartments Destroys 16 Units, Community Extends Assistance

DUNCANVILLE – An apartment fire that swept across 800 Link Apartments in Duncanville Sunday afternoon, gave way to what Duncanville City Manager Aretha Ferrell-Benavides said was a “strong sense of community. It makes your heart proud.”

Ferrell-Benavides was all too familiar with the devastation residents experienced, because the city manager had experienced a fire like this of her own when she lived on the East Coast four years ago.

The two alarm fire was tackled by fire departments from Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Dallas, DeSoto, Grand Prairie, and Ovilla.

While there have been some rumors about faulty electric outlets from current residents, Ferrell-Benavides said that was not something she had heard. She did say it was an older apartment complex in the city.

Apartment management did not return a phone call by press time.

While the Red Cross was on site to assist the residents from the 16 impacted units, Ferrell–Benavides said most of the people affected were more concerned about memories such as photos and memorabilia that were irreplaceable.

“One lady was devastated because her father’s ashes had been in the burning apartment,” Ferrell-Benavides said. “She lost the ashes in the fire and was so distraught. I saw a Duncanville Police Officer hold the woman’s hand to pray with her for her loss.”

Another man said he had gone outside his apartment before the fire without even his wallet or a jacket. Ferrell-Benavides said Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon and his wife were at the fire for most of the five hours that it took to extinguish. Gordon took off his own jacket to give it to the man.

Mayor Gordon said, “All these families, and indeed many neighbors and friends, are deeply traumatized and need our prayers. As they continue to work through this tragedy, at the request of the Mayor, local churches have responded with offers of food, clothing and even cash donations. As a result of this outpouring, the Duncanville Outreach Ministry has become a hub to coordinate collection with the apartment complex administrators and the Red Cross. Anyone or any organization willing to assist may contact Craig Krengger Executive Director at 469-732-1724.”

The Duncanville Fire Department arrived to the structure fire Sunday at around 2 p.m.. According to reports, the fire “evolved quickly.”

Also, due to the fire creating a hazard for firefighters within the structure, crews were eventually forced to move to defensively contain the fire from the outside using aerial ladders, hoses, and water.

The fire was extinguished around 7 p.m.

Ferrell-Benavides said it will be sometime before the cause of the fire is determined.