Firefighters battle blaze at apartment complex

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

PHOENIX -- Firefighters battled a fire at the leasing office of an apartment complex at Scottsdale and Bell roads on Friday.

The fire, at the Pillar at Scottsdale Luxury Apartments, started before noon.

The person who called 911 said there was soldering work being done in the attic of the leasing office.

Fire crews made an aggressive interior attack but were forced out by the amount of fire and the dangers to the firefighters, according to Capt. Tony Mure with the Phoenix Fire Dept.

"At some point in time the fire load overwhelmed the firefighters with their initial hoses and it was unsafe for the firefighters to stay inside. We went to a defensive operation," said Capt. Mure.

The initial call was received at 11:55 a.m.  The fire was under control at 12:40 p.m. 

Five pumper trucks, two ladder trucks, and multiple support vehicles were on scene. 

Capt. Mure said approximately 50 firefighters responded from the Phoenix and Scottsdale fire departments. 

"I was in the gym and seconds later the roof caved in," said Megan Bruner who lives at the complex.

She said she rushed outside while everyone else in the building was evacuated.

"Everyone ran out. There were two ladies behind me, but I think everybody is fine," said Bruner.

Investigators said the fire was accidental. The apartment complex was having work done in the leasing office by a heating and cooling repair company when the fire started. The repairman was in the attic attempting to repair a leak in the cooling system when the fire ignited.

"Plumes and plumes of smoke plumes of smoke coming from out of there,” said Judy Simeran who lives in the complex. "Then the flames started coming out, and it was unbelievable."

"I was panicking," said Danielle Butterfield, who lives in the complex. "I was pretty fearful of my own house."

Nobody was injured.