2-alarm fire sparks evacuation of Mesa apartment complex


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Bruce Haffner, Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 7:58 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 1:53 PM

Map: Broadway and Dobson

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MESA, Ariz. – A two-alarm fire forced the evacuation of a Mesa apartment complex Monday morning.

Crews were called to Broadway and Dobson roads shortly after 7 a.m.

According to scanner traffic, the third-floor apartment where the fire started is vacant, but surrounding units are occupied. Those apartments were evacuated as a precaution. Adjacent buildings were not affected by the evacuations.

The first crews on the scene reported seeing heavy smoke from a balcony. They immediately escalated the call to a second alarm, which means more units were assigned to deal with the fire.

"Any time you have a lot of people in a small area -- generally apartment complexes and condo complexes -- they're concerned about evacuating people safely out of the buildings," Bruce Haffner said while over the scene in the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper.

Aerial video showed firefighters on the ground shooting water up to the roof of the building. Dozens of people could be seen milling around in the parking lot.

It’s not clear how the fire started.

At this point, no injuries have been reported.