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Fire displaces 3 families at Euless apartment complex

Fire early Tuesday at a Euless apartment complex forced three families from their homes, according to reports.

Investigators suspect that an overheated power chord may have started the blaze at the Colonial Grand at Bear Creek apartments at 1200 Fuller Wiser Road, said Paul Smith, Euless fire marshal.

The fire was reported 12:34 a.m. at the complex, which is northwest of the intersection of East Harwood Road and Texas 360. The area is near the southwest side of DFW Airport.

It started in a third-floor apartment where the residents awoke to an unusual sound, Smith said. As soon as they saw the fire, he added, the smoke detector and the sprinkler system were activated.

The flames were put out, but water from the sprinklers and smoke damaged the apartment and two others, Smith said.

No one was hurt, but investigators estimated the damage at $50,000, Smith said. Apartment managers, he added, were helping the displaced people find other homes in the complex, Smith said.

Firefighters cleared the scene at about 4:30 a.m., Smith said.

The fire was still under investigation Tuesday, although investigators believe an electrical chord under a bookcase may have overheated, Smith said.

"Most appliances dissipate heat through the cord," he explained. "If you cover it with blankets, pillows or anything that could insulate the cord, and if it's trying to dissipate heat, you can end up with an overheating and a possible fire."

Smith urged people to double-check their appliances to ensure that electrical chords are directly exposed to open air so that heat properly dissipates from them.