Phoenix family escapes early morning house fire

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PHOENIX -- A family with two small children escaped an early morning house thanks in part to an alert neighbor.

At about 12:30 Monday morning, a neighbor who was driving by the Ahwatukee home at 48th Street and Chandler Boulevard let the residents know the side of the house was on fire. The fire started in a trash can and spread quickly.

Firefighters said the homeowners had burned some shredded paper products, possibly in an attempt to protect themselves from potential identity theft.

"Like happens a lot, they didn't make sure that they were out. They put it in the garbage can, which was next to the side of the house," explained Capt. Daniel Cheatum of the Phoenix Fire Department. "That garbage can proceeds to catch fire; it caught the house on fire, and it ran quickly up into the attic space right above the garage." Crews were able to contain the flames quickly.

The home was equipped with smoke alarms and those alarms did seem to be working properly. The family got out safely. They spent the night at a hotel.

No injuries were reported.