Stubborn apartment fire keeps Phoenix firefighters busy Monday morning

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PHOENIX -- Dozens of firefighters had their hands full with an early morning fire at a Phoenix apartment complex.

Crews were called out to 31st Avenue and Cheryl Drive Monday morning.

The call was escalated quickly, which means more firefighters were called out to deal with the situation. There were so many crews that a command unit was brought to the scene to coordinate the operation.

Aerial video showed firefighters on the roof of one of buildings. The apartment complex is made up of several buildings, each housing four to six apartments.

The fire started in a ground unit, and then shot up the walls into the common attic space. Crews had to cut holes in the roof to try and determine the exact location of the fire. Because it was spreading within the building, there were no flames visible from the outside.

The fire went second alarm, which means 40 or 50 firefighters were on the scene. At one point, even more crews -- 25 to 30 additional firefighters -- were put on standby in case they were needed.

Several families were evacuated but no injuries were reported.

Three of the four units in the affected building were damaged.

It's not yet clear what sparked the fire.