Attic fire displaces Ahwatukee family


by Christina O'Haver

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 2 at 3:33 PM

Map: Ahwatukee house fire

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PHOENIX -- An Ahwatukee family is displaced after a fire started in the attic of their home Friday.

The Phoenix, Tempe and Guadalupe fire departments were called to the home near Interstate 10 and Elliot Road about 12:30 p.m. for smoke coming from the attic.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs said the first crews on scene saw that the home had a high-pitched roof and vaulted ceilings about 18 feet tall, making it difficult for them to access the attic.

Firefighters changed their attack plan to enter the attic through the garage and removed the garage door.

The garage was filled to capacity with personal belongings and equipment.

"We couldn't fit one firefighter with a hose in there," Jacobs said.

Crews then cut large holes in the roof and flooded the attic from the top, extinguishing the flames.

"As this fire evolved, we continually had to change our plan," Jacobs said.

There was no smoke or fire damage to the interior of the home as the flames were contained to the attic, but there was extensive water damage, Jacobs said.

The occupants exited the home before firefighters arrived and were not injured.

Jacobs said the full garage not only hindered firefighting efforts but also could have been a safety hazard.

"The garage can be an escape route for people and we want them to be able to have that, so there should always be some type of path," he said. "We know that people store things in them. This is something that is a little bit more than we're used to seeing."

A fire crisis intervention team is working with the family, and fire investigators are trying to determine the cause.