Fire rips through Chandler home



Video report by Karen Brown

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 23 at 9:50 AM

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CHANDLER, Ariz. -- A mother and her adult son were not hurt when a fire ripped through their Chandler home Thursday afternoon.

The two were inside the house near Arizona Avenue and Knox Road at the time but got out safely after they were alerted to the fire by a neighbor.

They told 3TV they had just minutes to get out because the flames were moving so quickly. The son said he was only able to grab his computer.

A number of firefighters from Chandler and Gilbert responded but had to take breaks due to the triple-digit heat.

"There was a lot of fire when we pulled up, so I think we had our work cut out for us for sure," said Chandler firefighter Lenore Denbs, who has been on the job for 21 years.

She said Thursday's fire on Jasper Drive was especially tough.

"I was just thinking my head is going to explode because it's so hot you just feel it all over and you get a little slight delirium," she said.

Fire crews had to battle the flames from outside the home because the roof was beginning to collapse, according to Chandler Fire Capt. Randy Mandt.

Extra crews were need so the firefighters could take turns battling the flames.

"We just rehydrate and cool down," Mandt said. "They take everybody's vital signs to make sure that everybody's doing OK."

Denbs said it was so hot, she saw something she never had before.

"We were walking through what had already burned and it was still on fire, so at one point, I even hit the ground and the water boiled under our feet," she said.

But Denbs said even on the hottest days, she never questions her job.

"I love it. There's nothing else I'd rather do," she said.

The mother and son are staying with relatives.

They believe their four cats did not survive.