Mesa apartment fire leaves several people homeless


by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 11 at 6:34 AM

MESA, Ariz. --  A family of three looking for a new place to live, after a fire at a Mesa apartment complex.

Crews from both the Mesa and Gilbert Fire Departments responded to the blaze, which broke out just before noon near Gilbert and Broadway Roads. Close to 60 firefighters were on the scene.

Three apartments were affected by the blaze. The fire started in one unit on the second flood, and caused smoke damage to the apartment next to it.  A third unit on the bottom floor has water damage.

A woman was home alone in her apartment when she spotted smoke coming from her ceiling. She was able to escape unharmed.

"I came out of my apartment and saw flames coming out of the apartment," said neighbor Tom Shalkowitz.  "I went outside, ran out by the pool, saw a lady standing there and I asked her what happened and she said that was my apartment."

That woman had been sleeping in the apartment at the time the fire broke out. Her two children were not home at the time.

Firefighters were able to bring the flames under control within 20 minutes, thanks in part to quick-thinking neighbors.

"A great deal of neighbors came to the aid calling this in, and by people calling 911 quickly, this also allows us to get here quickly, able to do a quick search and rescue and be able to keep fire from spreading and ruining people's homes," says Mesa Fire Dept. Captain Forrest Smith.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.