Arson fire might have been retaliation

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Police are investigating an arson fire in a North Phoenix neighborhood that might have been set in retaliation after an early morning argument.

It happened at about 2 a.m. at a home in the area of 31st Avenue and Cactus Road.

Neighbors say the previous occupants of the home got into an argument with the current renters. That fight reportedly took a violent turn.

Investigators say there is evidence that somebody lit a truck on fire. The flames quickly spread from the truck, which was in the carport, to the house. The home was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived on the scene.

Firefighters discovered some kind of accelerant around the carport.

Four roommates, three men and a woman, were asleep when the fire broke out. The house did not have smoke detectors.

Neighbors came to the foursome's rescue, waking them and helping them to escape.

"We all started knocking on windows, yelling for them to get out," Cornelia Hernandez said. "We were breaking windows. Finally they started to come out, one by one. … It was scary because it was a loud boom that shook our window like it was going to break. That's how big the boom was."

One person was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation but is expected to be just fine. No other injuries were reported.

The residents of the home declined to talk to 3TV on camera.

While no arrests have been made, investigators have somebody they want to talk to in connection with the fire. They are not releasing any details about that person of interest.

The Phoenix Fire Department said Thursday morning's fire was an isolated incident.