Fire tears through home under construction

Posted: Updated:

CHANDLER, Ariz. --  Fire ripped through a Chandler home that was under construction early Thursday morning.

Firefighters are not sure how long the fire had been smoldering inside the huge home at Alma School and Ocotillo roads, but they first got the call at about 5 a.m.

When the Sun Lakes Fire Department first arrived on the scene, firefighters saw smoke was billowing from the top of the house. They spotted flames a short time later and immediately went defensive, fighting the fire from the outside. Smoke was visible for quite some distance.

Chandler firefighters arrived next and went door to door to make sure all the homes in the immediate vicinity were clear. Nobody was inside the home when the fire started. The house next door, also under construction, was vacant, as well.

While there are people living in the home directly behind the burning house, the structures are far enough apart that firefighters were confident they could keep the flames from spreading. No evacuations were ordered, but the residents were put on alert.

At some point, the roof of the vacant home collapsed.

An hour after arriving on the scene, most of the flames appeared to have been extinguished, but crews were still dumping water on the smoking ruins from an extension ladder positioned well above the two-story house.

Firefighters were able to contain the flames to that single home. The house, however, is probably a total loss. Residents living across the street called 911. They said the home was almost finished. They themselves moved into the neighborhood only three days ago.

"It's a startling wake-up call," said Maddy Paschal. "We saw the flames shooting up about 5 feet. My husband said, 'There's a fire across the street.' I said, 'Welcome to the neighborhood.' ... We haven't even finished unpacking."

Crews will remain on the scene to make sure hot spots do not flare back up.

No injuries were reported.

It’s not clear what sparked the blaze, but construction crews said people were working on the home Wednesday. Paschal said those workers were in and out of the house all day.

The fire is under investigation.