21-story apartment tower to go up where 2017 condo fire took place

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It was once the site of Dallas’ biggest fire ever.  

Today, it’s turned into a giant crater.  

The land on Northwest Highway near Preston Road will soon be a new urban high rise.  

Five years ago, a monster fire destroyed the Preston Place Condominiums on the property. It killed 89-year-old Jacqueline McDonald and dozens of families lost their homes.  

What remained of the property – a parking garage that sat there for five years – was a constant reminder of the tragedy and heartache. 

In March 2017, crews arrived to a chaotic scene. Three days later, McDonald was found inside her condo

Over the years, an I-Team investigation revealed the building was in serious violation of fire codes.  

Documents showed it was ‘unknown if the buildings fire protection system operated.’ 

Firefighters were severely delayed being called to the seven alarm blaze and the building hadn’t had a fire inspection in years.  

This story served as a lesson to those of you who live in older complexes. Ask your homeowners associations: 

  • What type of fire protection does our building have? 
  • How often is it inspected? 
  • And, how much insurance do we have if tragedy strikes? 

Today, the hopes of moving ahead lies in the hands of Hanover Company, a Houston developer.  

According to city documents the I-Team obtained, this will eventually be a 240-foot tower with 21 stories and 213 apartments. 

The heavy equipment will finally demolish the reminders of the 2017 tragedy – at the time, Dallas’ biggest fire in more than a decade.  

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