Maricopa church fire victim identified

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MARICOPA, Ariz. -- The victim from Tuesday's fatal fire in Maricopa has been identified as Jose M. Nazareno, 79, but the cause of the fire is still unknown.

The fire broke out at a mobile home attached to the Divine Mercy Catholic Lay Missionary building near White Road and Mayer Boulevard early Tuesday morning.

Crews from Pinal County and Ak Chin were called out to the area shortly after 3:30 a.m.

"Units onscene advised they were unable to safely gain entry due to heavy smoke and flames," Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Elias Johnson said in an email to media outlets.

Johnson said Nazareno's 76-year-old wife was able to escape using a second-floor exit after her husband woke her and alerted her to the fire.

Nazareno went downstairs where the fire originated to try to put it out but wasn't seen again.