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Bodies Recovered Five Days After TX Fire

The bodies of two non-residents were recovered Monday from the rubble of a Harris County (TX) apartment complex that had burned five days earlier, prompting questions about the thoroughness of the fire response from relatives of the victims.

A report in the Houston Chronicle ( describes how authorities found the victim’s bodies at the scene of the three-alarm fire that ravaged portions of a building at the Monticello on Cranbrook apartment homes.

Family members of the victims said firefighters and the apartment’s management should be held accountable for the deaths. The deceased had been visiting friends who lived at the complex, thus their names were not on a list of tenants given to police for accountability purposes during the incident. Once all tenants had been accounted for, authorities ended their search.

Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery told the paper that his department responded properly. He said that the apartment complex could not be searched completely because second-floor units collapsed, indicating a loss of structural integrity that would make a full search too dangerous. Management officials said they were also unaware of the visitors.

The fire reportedly started in the apartment of a woman who uses oxygen, an investigator told the newspaper. The oxygen line landed on a burner of the stove; the line melted, igniting the fire.

Read more details about the incident at

For more firefighter training articles about search operations on the fireground, consider Size Up Before You Search , Employing Oriented Search , Defensive Search Techniques, Rope-Based Search Techniques, and Training Days: Primary Search and PPV.