Phoenix family loses everything in apartment fire

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PHOENIX – A rash of house and apartment fires have lit up the Valley in the last week or two.

No one was severely hurt in the several fires that sparked Saturday. But in many cases, including one in an apartment complex at 55th Avenue and McDowell Road, the families were left looking for a new place to stay.

“It was on fire -- everything was on fire,” one resident said. “So we were scared.”

Four fires kept Phoenix Fire busy Saturday -- going from a shed fire to a house fire to apartment fires.

“I was in my room and then I heard the lady screaming,” said Mike Anthony Gonzales. “So I looked out the window and I saw the flames.”

The family had just returned to see the flames ripping through their three-bedroom apartment. The mother then rushed into the burning building.

“The mother, 29 years old, entered the home to try and save her dog -- which she did, she saved her little toy Chihuahua -- and suffered moderate to severe smoke inhalation,” explained Phoenix Fire Capt. Alex Rangel.

Meanwhile other neighbors tried to save by using fire extinguishers.

“Me and my brother went to get them from the kitchen,” Gonzales said. “So I came running with one and then my brother gave one, and then some people on top got them and they went in there.”

Investigators are trying to figure out what started the fire. Whatever the cause, the family has been left with nothing.

The Red Cross assisted 14 people with food, shelter and clothing on Saturday alone.

Firefighters want to remind you to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home.