House fire on Tucson's west side; Firefigher arrives on scene of apartment fire before 911 call

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Firefighters arrived just two minutes after the 911 call to a house near Starr Pass and Mission on Tucson's west side.

They found smokes and flames but the house was vacant. There were no injuries and the damage is estimated to be around $25,000.

And firefighters are typically on the scene of a fire minutes after a call to 911, but Wednesday, a firefighter arrived on the scene of an apartment before the call was made, and made the call himself.

Captain Josh Campbell was in his personal vehicle heading downtown for a meeting when he saw smoke coming from a Woodland Apartment unit at the corner of Miracle Mile and Flowing Wells.

He called 911 but that's not all he did.

"When I first got out of my truck I could see fire and smoke coming out of the window and when I got up to the apartment and got the residents out of there, I able to get down and look underneath and saw a fully involved apartment at that time," said Campbell.

Campbell said the family of three, a mother and her two children, looked in shock as they stood underneath a door way with the smoke alarm sounding.  Fire investigators say the blaze started by a child playing with a lighter.

"The residents were dazed and obviously in shock from the incident so we just got them out and into another apartment," said Campbell.

Red Cross is assisting the family with food, clothing and medicine. Their home is destroyed and even though captain Campbell was one of the first to help.

He applauds the residents of the complex more for their actions.

"There were many residents that were already here that began the evacuation process before I got here so it was to the residents that we commend them for their brave efforts for what they did," said Campbell.

Fire fighters had a problem when the first arrived on scene, the first hydrant they tapped into was dry.  Luckily another hydrant was nearby and was working.