Arson suspected in early morning apartment fire


by Catherine Holland

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 3:29 AM

Map: 45th Avenue, south of Thomas

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PHOENIX -- Investigators believe arson might be behind an apartment fire that left three families homeless Tuesday morning.

It happened at about 12:30 a.m. at the Pine Ridge Apartments on 45th Avenue south of Thomas Road.

The fire started in a vacant apartment. While firefighters from Phoenix and Glendale were able to keep the flames from spreading, they could not contain the water damage.

While crews know in general where the fire started, they have not identified the ignition source.

Investigators will sift through the debris in the gutted apartment to determine where and how the fire started, as well as its path through the unit.

Three families -- 10 people, including three children -- were displaced by the fire. Red Cross volunteers are helping those people with their immediate needs.

One resident walked 3TV's Gibby Parra through his badly damaged apartment.

"Everything is destroyed," he said, looking up at a large hole in his ceiling.

While the damage was extensive, no injuries were reported.

It's not clear how long the burned-out unit had been unoccupied.

The fire is under investigation.