Rocket launcher, machine guns found in Phoenix home that caught fire


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 2:44 PM

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PHOENIX – A rocket launcher, machine guns and ammo were found in a Phoenix home that caught fire Monday morning.

Police said the husband and wife who live in the home near 32nd Street and McDowell Road are collectors and haven't done anything illegal.

A bomb squad was called to the home after the collection was discovered following a fire that started about 9 a.m. The discovery of the rocket launcher had firefighters worried.

"For us, it's very scary because it was found in the room of origin," said Capt. Larry Nunez with the Phoenix Fire Department. "We did not know if it was inert and we have ammunition everywhere."

The rocket launcher was X-rayed and found to be inert.

"Being inert, we have no issues with it," Nunez said.

Investigators said the weapons played no part in the fire.

Video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed smoke pouring from the attic area and flames coming through the roof.

Due to the amount of smoke in the house, firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to search the home, according to Nunez. They didn't find any people, but they did locate three dogs inside.

Nunez said the dogs were still alive but were disoriented from the smoke. Firefighters used a Fido Bag on at least one of the animals.

"They're down low to the ground, but smoke, obviously a foot from the ground, they're going to get into it, they're going to get disoriented, pass out and eventually die from the smoke so it's important for us to get them out, get them with these Fido Bags," Nunez said.

A dog and a bird were killed in the fire and one dog is missing.

Nunez said it is unknown where the fire started, but there was extensive damage to the back of the home.