Mother, daughter escape house fire, lose pets


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 29 at 7:20 AM

Map: Near 35th Ave. & Northern

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PHOENIX -- One woman is recovering from smoke inhalation after she and her adult daughter escaped their burning home early Wednesday morning.

The fire started at about 1 a.m. in the neighborhood of 35th and Northern avenues. Neighbors called 911 to report smoke and flames.

While neighbors believe an electrical problem might have sparked the fire, investigators have not determined how it started. All they know right now is that the fire started in a bedroom and gutted a large portion of the house.

This fire was particularly difficult for crews. Not only were there security bars on the windows, making it hard for them to get inside, at least one oxygen tank exploded. Another complication was that the home is located in a cul-de-sac and the nearest hydrant is some distance away.

A woman in a wheelchair and her daughter, who is in her 40s, were inside at the time. They both got out of the house before firefighters arrived, but the woman was taken to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. She's expected to recover. Her daughter was not injured.

It's not clear what alerted them to the fire. Firefighters do not know of smoke detectors in the house were working.

While the women escaped, their pets were not as lucky. A dog and a cat died in the fire.