Neighbor, reporter take action after fire flares up again

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- An early morning residential fire that was thought to be extinguished flared up hours later prompting a neighbor and 3TV reporter Javier Soto to alert residents and firefighters.

Nobody was hurt during the original fire call or when the fire flared up again at a home near 44th Street and Baseline Road.

Firefighters were first called to the scene at about 2 a.m. Friday morning. A man was awakened by some noise and then the power went out in his home.

He went outside and opened a utility closet where he discovered an intense fire. He immediately got his family, including 1-year-old child and a 4-year-old child out of the home.

"I don't remember if I opened that door. I think I did and I opened it and there was like flames coming out of it," said Michael Sullivan. "I ran in and I grabbed the kids and I told Jess 'we got to get out of the house there's a huge fire.'"

Soto had been reporting on that relatively small fire on "Good Morning! Arizona" since 4:30 a.m. It was just before 8 a.m. when a woman who lives nearby alerted Soto that the fire flared back up again.

"I came down here to check and see if anybody needed anything because of the fire last night," said Denise Whipple who lost her house in May. "And I came out of my house and it was ablaze. I just thank God that I didn't go to work today."

The property has multi-family duplex-style homes that are connected making it easy for fire to spread from one unit to the next.

Soto knocked on doors to alert residents to the fire. He woke up one woman and she got out of her home and they notified another neighbor about the fire.

"It's something that anybody would do," said Soto. "You want to make sure that everybody is safe and everybody is out because this thing was going up quickly."

The fire, which apparently started with an electric water heater, did cause significant damage to multiple homes.

Watch the video to see how the situation unfolded live on Good Morning! Arizona