4 killed in 2 separate house fires, Phoenix and Glendale

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by The Associated Press and Tess Rafols, 3TV

Video report by Crystal Cruz

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 4 at 6:14 AM

Map: Fatal fires in Phoenix and Glendale

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Two men and a woman died in a house fire in Phoenix that investigators believe was probably set by a candle used for lighting or a cigarette that wasn't put out.

Firefighters were call to 14th Avenue and Pima Street at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday

"When they arrived, they located three citizens trying to break open a window, this window had some bars on it," explained Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos. The passersby were able to pull that woman to safety. She suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns to her hands.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Larry Nunez says the fire's cause hasn't been officially determined, but investigators believe it to be an accident.

"They're leading on the side of careless disposal of smoking materials or candles to light up the area," he said.

The house on the southern outskirt of downtown Phoenix had no electric power, water and gas.

The three people who lived there used candles to see at night.

The woman who escaped the fire tried to warn others in the house to get out.

According to a spokesman for the Phoenix Fire Department, the woman who died was approximately 70 years old, one of the men was approximately 50 to 60, the other was approximately 47. The woman who survived is 41.

That lone survivor, who reportedly was visiting with her husband from out of state, told crews she woke up to screams from the elderly woman. She tried to get to her, but flames surrounded the bedroom.

"She goes to wake up her husband, they try both to get out of the of the home, but at some point, they lose track of one another," Martos said.  The husband was found dead in the hallway. The two residents were found in bedrooms.

The identities of those involved have not yet been released.

Mobile home fire in Glendale claims man's life

The other fatal fire was in Glendale near 51st and Glendale avenues. It started at about 11 p.m. Saturday.

While crews initially had a hard time getting close to the mobile home, they were able to quickly put out the fire.

One woman escaped unharmed. She told firefighters her boyfriend went back into the burning mobile to get their dog. Neither he nor the dog made it out.

Investigators have not said how that fire started.

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