Smoke from huge apartment fire in Phoenix visible for miles

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland
Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland
Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland
Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland Crews were called out to the scene of a large apartment fire in Central Phoenix early Tuesday morning. By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Several people are without a place to live after a huge early morning fire tore through their apartment complex Tuesday.

Thick black smoke was pouring off the building in the neighborhood of Third and Turney avenues. Turney Avenue is between Indian School and Camelback roads. That huge plume of smoke was visible for miles, even from State Route 51 through the Dreamy Draw.

Firefighters were called out at about 5:30 a.m. At least two units were fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived on the scene, and flames were shooting from the roof.

The assignment was immediately bumped up to a first-alarm, which means more crews were called to the scene.

Because the units are so close together, there was some concern that the flames could get into the common attic space and quickly spread to neighboring apartments. Firefighters were able to keep that from happening and had things mostly under control by shortly after 6 a.m.

"There was huge amount of smoke initially," said one firefighter on the scene. "The firefighters got in very quickly and did a quick knock-down on it."

3TV photojournalist Victor Ochoa captured amazing video of the firefighters in action. At least three of them went up to the roof of the burning building to vent the flames and smoke.

The entire complex was evacuated safely. No injuries have been reported, but two families are displaced.

Two units and at least four vehicles were destroyed.

There's no word yet on what caused the fire, but first responders believe it started in a carport and jumped to the building.

Once it's safe, investigators will start sifting through the debris to try and determine exactly what happened.