Fire forces evacuation at senior-living apartment complex

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PHOENIX – An early morning fire at a seniors’ apartment complex made for some scary moments for dozens of residents.

It happened at about 3 a.m. Saturday near 18th Street and Thomas Road in Central Phoenix.

Thanks to quick action by Phoenix firefighters, everybody was able to get out of the burning building safely.

Most of the residents of the Rose Court Senior Living Apartment were asleep when the fire broke out on the second floor.

Investigators believe a foam mattress somehow caught fire, but it’s not yet known exactly what sparked it.

“The sprinkler system activated, which is a good thing for these residents,” said Phoenix fire Capt. Scott McDonald. “That was able to keep the fire to a minimum. The biggest hazard was all the smoke.”

Fire crews had to evacuate about 40 people from the second flood. Many of those residents were not able to get out on their own. Several residents are are in wheelchairs; others need walkers.

“That was quite a process,” McDonald said.

The assisted-living complex is staffed 24 hours a day. The staffers on duty were able to help with the evacuation.

In the end, firefighters were able to get a handle on the fire quickly and nobody was injured.

A total of 15 units were affected by the fire. Most of those apartments sustained water damage. Those residents have been placed in other rooms.