Firefighters: Hoarding fueled condo fire

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 1 at 10:01 AM

Map: 35th Avenue and Camelback Road

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PHOENIX -- Firefighters say hoarding fueled a condo fire in Phoenix Tuesday morning.

Fire crews were called out to 35th Avenue and Camelback Road shortly before 7:30 a.m.

Kenton Wiggins had lived in the home for about 35 years and had accumulated quite a bit in that time.

Firefighter said the fire might have been small had there not been so much stuff to feed the flames.

Wiggins, who made it out safely, said the fire might have started when he lit a cigarette and then tossed his lighter to the side as he went into the kitchen. When he returned, he was confronted with a huge blaze.

The flames moved extremely fast, devouring everything in its path.

By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, those flames, fed by the Wiggins' collections, were shooting from the windows. Firefighters had a hard time getting inside the burning condo. Once they did, they were hampered by stuff stacked from the floor to the ceiling.

Wiggins' condo was destroyed. He said he lost everything in the fire.

One firefighter reportedly twisted his ankle as he tried to maneuver through the stacks of Wiggins' belongings. No other injuries were reported and firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby condos.

Fire investigators are on the scene to try and determine exactly how the fire started.

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