By Gaige Davila
A South Padre Island condominium building has been destroyed by an early Saturday morning fire.
A fire broke out at Gulfpoint Condominiums, on 200 Padre Boulevard next to the Sapphire Towers, at 7:36 a.m. on May 16, according to National Weather Service reports, after a lightening strike that hit the building at around 6:35 a.m. Only one building of the condominium complex appears to have been affected by the fire.
Crowds of people congregated at the City of South Padre Island’s Multi-Modal Facility to watch the blaze. Persons staying at Gulfpoint, the Pearl and the Sapphire, almost all in sleepwear, were inside the building calling family members and friends.
“This morning we woke up to the fire alarm going off,” Adriana Davalos, who was staying in the now-destroyed Gulfpoint Condominium building since Tuesday, said. “We could smell (the smoke), and we were on the bottom floor, so we knew something was going on.”
She, her two young sons, her mother, who owns the condo they were staying in and her husband, along with her two dogs and two pet geckos, all made it out of the building safely.
Davalos said few people were staying in the condominium and believes everyone staying there were able to escape the building.
Lightening and heavy rain were present throughout the morning, up until 9:45 a.m. when the fire appeared to be contained.
Several fire departments responded to the fire, including Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Brownsville, Weslaco, San Juan engines. Texas Department of Highway Safety (DPS) State Troopers blocked access to the condominiums entrance.
The PRESS has contacted South Padre Island Fire Chief Jim Pigg and Port Isabel Fire Chief John Sandoval for comment.