Apartment fire guts 6 units, displaces dozens

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

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A fire tore through a Glendale apartment complex early Wednesday morning, gutting six units and displacing about two dozen people.

When fire crews arrived at the Monte Vista Apartments near 67th Avenue and Butler Drive, which is north of Northern Avenue, shortly after 3:30 a.m., smoke and flames were shooting from the backs of six apartments on all three levels of the building.

Because the complex is so large, some 60 firefighters from Glendale, Peoria and Phoenix were called out. They were able to contain the flames to the initial six apartments.

Neighbors went door to door as smoke alarms blared.

"We just had to rush out. It was scary," said Monte Vista resident Erica Perez as she cuddled a little girl close.

Glendale officers helped with the evacuation.

"When Glendale PD got on scene, they started banging on apartments. One of the apartments was heavily affected by smoke," explained Michael Young of the Glendale Fire Department. "The people who came out were a little dazed because the smoke so thank God the Glendale PD was on scene to help those people get out of their apartment."

While the damage was extensive, no injuries were reported.

The manager of the apartment complex, Karen Taylor, told 3TV's Mike Watkiss that the fire was started by a cigarette. Fire officials have not confirmed that.

Firefighters on the scene believe the fire started in one of the first-floor units. They said fires generally start low and spread upward.

Red Cross volunteers responded to assist the 24 people affected by the fire. Those volunteers will help the families with emergency housing, food, clothing and other necessities.