By: Julia Deng
MARFA - At least 20 children and 15 adults were displaced Tuesday by a fire that destroyed 12 units of the Marfa Villa Apartments, Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez said.
One fire fighter suffered minor injuries after falling through the roof of the Golf Course Road building, which was declared a total loss.
The official cause of the blaze has not been determined.
"It started around 4:30 in the afternoon and took about two or three hours to contain," said Sheriff Dominguez.
Flames continued burning well past 10 p.m. Fire officials and emergency medical personnel responded from Marfa, Fort Davis and other nearby agencies.
"I owe one fire fighter everything," said Villa Apartments resident Brianna Vasquez. "I graduate on Friday and he saved my cap and gown right before the flames got to my apartment."
She is the first member of her family to graduate from high school in two generations. Her pride is now clouded by thick smoke and grief.
"I'm just praying for all the families here," Vasquez told NewsWest 9. "We didn't have time to get anything. We were all just terrified."
According to Sheriff Dominguez, "several" displaced residents are seeking temporary shelter at a nearby motel.
"We appreciate anyone who wishes to help the others with donations or a place to stay," he said.